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Nvidia Tegra 4 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 website.

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

The Asus Transformer Prime uses an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3. A faster, quad-core Tegra 4 is coming. (Credit: Asus)

If VR-Zone's Chinese site's 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 a chip with an older ARM A9 design. We'll have to wait for more details from Nvidia before we can even begin to speculate about this one.