Nvidia CEO confirms quad-core Android tablets coming this year

Daniel Bader

September 8, 2011 12:27pm

The year is almost over, but there is apparently plenty of time left for Nvidia to release its first quad-core mobile chips, based on ARM technology. President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that, in order to get a leg up on its main competitor Qualcomm, the graphics company will release a quad-core mobile System-on-a-Chip, or SoC, before the end of the calendar year.

Code-named Kal-El, the successor to the prolific Tegra 2 chip, which powers over 70% of Android tablets and 50% of high-end smartphones, will not only be significantly faster, but also bring many of the ARM instruction sets such a NEON that are currently missing from the dual-core Tegra 2.

Huang said that by 2015 the mobile division at Nvidia will be worth more than its dedicated GPU divison, currently worth $4.5 billion. Their goal is to ship 1 billion mobile processors by then, too, an ambitious goal considering as of 2011 they have only produced around 100 million chips.

Earlier this year the GPU giant acquired mobile baseband company Icera, whose technology will be integrated into future Nvidia chips starting next year. The inclusion will allow for them to rely less on separate component manufacturers when developing mobile processors, ultimately lowering costs and increasing profits. This will be necessary to reach their goal of a $20 billion mobile chip business by 2015.

As for the quad-core chips, it’s unlikely we’ll see any of them in smartphones by the end of this year; initial yields will be low, with heat and power consumption being the major hurdle to overcome in the production process.

Source: Forbes Online
Via: Phandroid

  • Colin

    I don’t even have a quad core in my PC. I guess it’s easier to increase the core count then to actually improve the architecture.

  • raynz

    A quad core mobile chip is not on the same level as a PC. So wont be as fast. But I have been aching to pick up a tablet and don’t want to go and buy one of the tegra 2 tablets with this just coming around the corner. Really need that second form of access to internet for the wife who’s always using my computer, this will be a nice second device to have around the house. I’m hoping the rumors of the transformer 2 to be true. Very much looking forward to this! =D

  • Nascar39

    I was really considering buying a tablet before the end of the month but this news will have me waiting for the quad core tablets!!!

  • Mark

    The technology in mobile devices is advancing faster than it was for computers in the 90’s. It is a very exciting time to be watching this stuff evolve (inb4 skynet). But also a shame that my flagship handset from last year is nearly obsolete today… [sigh]

    • Nick

      Don’t get too sad… your awesome phone from last year is just as awesome as it was, it’s just that progress is going at an insane pace.

      I have a Nexus S and every now and then I get a little sad seeing the new phones that are coming out… then I realize that my phone still has more power than computers did 10 years ago. Pretty insane.

    • KingK

      Too bad there’s barely any software to take advantage of it.

      Mostly crap apps and crap games with crap graphics.

      Only gameloft and nvidia tegra 2 games barely use any of the power.

  • ELNY

    Yeah this is a crazy mobile world we live in now. Regular PC/laptop innovations have almost come to standstill. I upgraded my PC last year, Oct. 2010, with fairly high end parts (I’m a gamer) and it still plays today’s games without a hiccup and its extremely fast.

    Meanwhile, I got my HTC Desire in August 2010 and it is completely obsolete, fairly fast but you can tell the design, speed, etc is all outdated. The iphone 4 seems ancient tech now and even phones like the Motorola Atrix look like bricks within less than 9 months of release. Crazy!

  • human

    I I guess it’s time to throw my laptop and desktop out…

  • Reggie Noble

    Battery life? 15 Minutes.

    • FuzzyLogic

      The battery life is documented to be around 8 hours.
      We’ll probably get the details next Tuesday at the BUILD conference since it is supposed to be unveiled there.

  • rulerxy

    The big question I have for this is why? Have they even released apps that support dual core? This just seems like way too much way too early.

    • BB Addict


    • Mark

      Why? Are you serious?? People will pay for it, that’s why. Makes money = start production immediately.

  • EmperumanV

    Hmm good thing I didn’t invest money on another Android tablet. Guess I’ll wait for the Kal-Els to roll in :P.

  • Nick


    I’m surprised how fast companies one-up themselves these days. It seems like they’ve barely had time for Tegra 2’s to show what they can do. Oh well, I don’t know how NVIDIA is making money off it, but that’s not my problem. Bring on the 8-cores in June 2012! 😀

  • drankid


  • Anthony E.

    Well, whenever the quad core tablets come out, all the dual core ones should drop in price. I’ll go buy one of the dual core ones then.

  • ruddias

    How fast do you really need something to be? Lag sucks, but everything is becoming obsolete! Like really, I don’t mind waiting and extra 10 seconds for something to load.
    *sigh* ADHD society…

  • skrutor

    Maybe now we can play high def video on tablets. Tegra2 didn’t like 720p and 1080p very much.

  • Saffant

    Dice player 😉