Nvidia Tegra 4 chip leak whets appetite for non-iOS tablets

As soon as Q1 2013, Nvidia's Tegra 4 chip aims to make quad-core tablets even faster, according to data leaked by a Chinese Web site.

Asus Transformer Prime uses an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3.  A faster quad-core Tegra 4 is coming.
Asus Transformer Prime uses an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3. A faster quad-core Tegra 4 is coming. Asus

A roadmap of Nvidia's next chip, the Tegra 4, could also be a blueprint for the internals of future Android and Windows tablets.

If VR-ZONE's (in this case, VR-ZONE's Chinese-language site) sources speak the truth, then we've got plenty of tablets packing quad-core A15 chips to look forward to.

What's an A15 you ask? That's the next chip design -- officially the Cortex A15 -- from tablet and smartphone chip design powerhouse ARM.

Think of it this way: Four A15s are faster than the four Nvidia Tegra 3 Cortex-A9s now found in the Asus Transformer Prime. And the Transformer Prime is already pretty fast for a tablet. (Technically, Nvidia calls its quad-core Tegra 4-Plus-1 because there's a fifth battery-life-friendly core for less-demanding tasks.)

But getting back to tablets. Since Nvidia is aiming at both Android and Windows 8, that means we can expect tablets and/or hybrids in both camps with this silicon.

Starting in the first quarter of 2013, the 1.8GHz Tegra 4 should make an appearance in a "10-inch" device (read: tablet), according to VR-ZONE. Other Tegra 4 versions will appear in the third quarter of 2013.

It gets more curious for the future SP3X chip. That's listed as LTE (4G) capable. It's also spec'd as a chip with an older ARM A9 design. We'll have to wait for more deets from Nvidia before we can even begin to speculate about this one.

(Via Engadget)

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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