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Nvidia Confirms Quad-Core Tablets Arriving This Year

By - Source: Forbes | B 27 comments

Tablets powered by Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 "Kal-El" SoC will be available just in time for Christmas.

Nvidia president and chief executive officer Jen-Hsun Huang has confirmed to Forbes that Google tablets running its third-generation, quad-core Tegra 3 SoC ("Kal-El") will indeed be available this year, perhaps before Christmas. This will reportedly put Nvidia ahead of rival Qualcomm who isn't expected to ship a similar chip until the end of the year.

The confirmation took place after speaking to a roundtable of reporters on Tuesday. Huang wasn't quite as definitive about Kal-El's penetration into the smarphone market, indicating that tablets may be the only Tegra 3-based devices launching this year despite previous predictions of a 2011 release. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments expect products with their quad-core chips to be available on the market early next year.

The new Tegra 3-powered tablets were originally slated for a summer release, but according to Huang, manufacturers are taking their time "getting the industrial design as wonderful as possible, and some of it is related to tuning and performance." The lackluster sales of non-Apple tablets is also partially to blame for the delay, as manufacturers are struggling to match the iPad's battery life and overall price while using dual-core SoCs. Incorporating a more-expensive quad-core chip will only make things worse.

Reports circulating on Thursday revealed that Microsoft plans to showcase a Samsung tablet sporting Windows 8 next week during the BUILD developers' conference. While the nature of the device's processor is unknown, it's speculated that the device will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 "Kal-El" processor. Huang already admitted that a number of Windows 8 tablets are slated to use the third-generation SoC, and that Microsoft's new OS will be able to run applications developed for the Windows Phone 7 platform. This cross-platform feature may actually be demonstrated next week.

Huang said on Tuesday that Nvidia already claims 70-percent of the Android tablet market which makes up 30-percent of the overall tablet sector. The company's Android smartphone share is lower, hovering around 50-percent. But that latter number should change in the years to come, as Nvidia is expected to ship 1 billion mobile processors a year by 2015.

"We’ll be very pleased if we can be a sizable player in the mainstream phone market," Huang said.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    southernshark , September 8, 2011 6:13 PM
    Nvidia has lots of optimism, I will give them that. I hope they pull it off, but am skeptical.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    southernshark , September 8, 2011 6:13 PM
    Nvidia has lots of optimism, I will give them that. I hope they pull it off, but am skeptical.
  • 2 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , September 8, 2011 6:21 PM
    Bring on Transformer 2!!
  • Display all 27 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    jblack , September 8, 2011 6:38 PM
    I heard some nasty things about this chip, namely that it is still using a single bus to interface with memory and that it doesn't perform as well as many would think because the cores are constantly waiting on memory.

    I'm hoping it isn't true.
  • 6 Hide
    darkchazz , September 8, 2011 6:46 PM
    That sounds great.
    What I don't like though is them paying game developers to make their games exclusive for tegra devices, I mean seriously nvidia, ANDROID DOES NOT NEED MORE FRAGMENTATION!
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , September 8, 2011 7:13 PM
    mobrocketsounds like a non starter at Xmas time, unless that have a great price at black friday...

    Products may not even be available by Christmas.. They almost definitely wont be available on Black Friday.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 8, 2011 7:23 PM
    I can speculate on why non-Apple tablets can't sell. Blame on the OS - Gingerbread is the most unfriendly piece of software I've used in a long time.
  • 0 Hide
    silver565 , September 8, 2011 7:37 PM
    Windows 8 on tablets could work quite well with this chip... providing it's as good as nvidia says.
  • 0 Hide
    brett1042002 , September 8, 2011 7:50 PM
    darkchazzThat sounds great.What I don't like though is them paying game developers to make their games exclusive for tegra devices, I mean seriously nvidia, ANDROID DOES NOT NEED MORE FRAGMENTATION!


    Most of this fragmentation will be solved by Ice Cream Sammich on the OS level.

    ... or so they say.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , September 8, 2011 8:02 PM
    Oh no! iCrapple is likely to sue because someone else came up with the idea of a quad core tablet. Its like "if you are it you are it", the world according to iCrap,
  • 2 Hide
    silver565 , September 8, 2011 8:04 PM
    Apple sues in 3...2.....1.....
  • 2 Hide
    tuxino , September 8, 2011 8:13 PM
    @greghome Yeah! Superman!
  • 5 Hide
    silver565 , September 8, 2011 8:14 PM
    Can you imagine how amusing it'd be if the tablets were advertised the way apple does their products?

    "A new revolutionary product. with 4 seperate cores. Giving you the power to do anything"
  • 2 Hide
    tuxino , September 8, 2011 8:15 PM
    Now all android needs is some games that give it justice.
  • -1 Hide
    chronicbint , September 8, 2011 8:18 PM
    Now all android tablets need are some apps.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 8, 2011 8:25 PM
    Please someone let me be able to install Windows 8 on one of these and I will be a happy man
  • -1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , September 8, 2011 9:36 PM
    darkchazzWhat I don't like though is them paying game developers to make their games exclusive for tegra devices

    Source?
  • 1 Hide
    ikyung , September 8, 2011 9:40 PM
    Cool. 4cores. I'm more interested in Android 4.0 please. Hardware is fine. Lets perfect the software first!
  • 1 Hide
    atikkur , September 8, 2011 9:41 PM
    dumbphone is enough...
  • -1 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , September 8, 2011 10:38 PM
    I like nVidia & I wish them luck!
  • 1 Hide
    RazberyBandit , September 9, 2011 12:15 AM
    Quote:
    quad-core Tegra 3 SoC ("Kal-El") will indeed be available this year, perhaps before Christmas.

    Considering there's only one week left in a year after Christmas day, Jen-Hsun didn't leave himself much of a window with such a claim... At least he didn't hold up a wooden version as proof of existence this time.
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