NVIDIA has finally announced its quad-core ARM Cortex A9 Tegra 3 processor, previously codenamed “Kal-El,” that will deliver “PC-class performance” for tablets and smartphones. NVIDIA said the new chip will offer 3 times the graphics performance of its dual-core Tegra 2 chip and it will consume up to 61% less power. If a user is listening to music or using a phone in a way that does not demand a lot of power, the new chip will automatically throttle down to use a companion core. Once a user fires up a game, browses the Web, or performs a task that needs the extra power, the Tegra 3 processor disables the companion core and activates all four processing cores. In addition to the four cores and the companion core, Tegra 3 also has a 12-core GeForce graphics processing unit with support for stereoscopic 3D, new video engines for playing 1080p HD video and more. NVIDIA said Tegra 3 is in production now and one of the first products to ship with it will be the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Read on for the full press release and a video that shows off the chip’s gaming capabilities. More →
There are a number of smartphones that are currently powered by dual-core processors, but we have yet to see a big-name smartphone running a processor with four cores. According to Pocketnow, the first such device could be the HTC Edge, which will reportedly launch in the first or second quarter next year with NVIDIA’s 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor in tow. Rumors suggest the Edge has a 4.7-inch HD display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and support for 21Mbps HSDPA networks. The phone may also ship with Beats Audio. More →
During the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, ASUS CEO Jonney Shih took the wraps off of one of the first tablets to utilize NVIDIA’s new quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Transformer Prime, which is just 8.3mm thick, is equipped with a 10-inch display, an SD card slot, a mini-HDMI port and support for up to 14.5 hours of battery life, Engadget said. It can also be docked to a full QWERTY keyboard, just like the original Eee Pad Transformer tablet. Details on the Transformer Prime are still slim and it is not clear if the tablet will ship with Android Honeycomb or Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Shih said Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be on the market by the end of the year, and given the company’s plans to officially announce the tablet on November 9th, we’re keeping our fingers crossed this launches as one of the first Android 4.0 tablets. Shih did not discuss pricing, markets or a potential release date. More →
The Kindle Fire hasn’t even hit the market yet but the tablet’s successor is already reported to be set for a launch in the second half of next year. Reportedly, Foxconn has secured orders for the device and is working to get the tablet out of the door and onto store shelves during that time period, DigiTimes said on Wednesday. Quanta Computer is building the current generation Kindle Fire, although Amazon is largely believed to already have a second-generation quad-core “Hollywood” tablet in the pipeline. Early speculation has suggested the Hollywood tablet will have a 10-inch display and BGR exclusively reported in May that it will be powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. Foxconn has not yet confirmed it received the orders from Amazon, but the report matches up with several rumors that suggested the tablet would ship later than initially expected. More →
NVIDIA’s chief executive officer and president Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed that the company’s quad-core processor, currently codenamed “Kal-El,” will be available in tablets by the end of this year. “We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm,” Huang told Forbes in a recent interview. “We’re really the only two active players.” Earlier this year, NVIDIA said it expected to ship quad-core tablets and smartphones in 2011, but Huang suggested to Forbes that smartphones may not hit the market until 2012. Read on for more. More →
Game publisher Mediocre officially released its new game “Sprinkle” on Thursday. Sprinkle currently runs on dual-core Tegra 2 devices but will be one of the first titles to support NVIDIA’s upcoming quad-core processor, currently codenamed “Kal-El.” We installed Sprinkle on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and, while it is definitely worth the $1.99 purchase price, we found it to be a pretty difficult puzzler. The idea is to use a large water spout to put out fires before they burn down the homes of the citizen’s you’re trying to save. You’ll need to lower or raise your spout and angle it correctly in an effort to douse the flames before you run out of water. There are a number of obstacles, such as large rocks, that make your fire fighting more difficult. The graphics are a bit mediocre, however, so we’re looking forward to the magic that Kal-El will add. If you plan on giving it a whirl, here’s a tip: to unlock all 46 levels just tap 5 fingers on the home screen. Sprinkle is currently available for $1.99 in the Android Market for Tegra 2 devices. Read on for a second image of the game. More →
The sequel to ASUS’ popular Eee Pad Transformer tablet was set to be one of the first slates to hit the market with a quad-core Kal El processor from NVIDIA. According to a new report from Fudzilla however, the convertible Android tablet has been delayed. The report cites multiple sources in claiming the Transformer 2 was set to be unveiled this month but has instead been delayed for “at least a month or a bit more.” No cause for the purported delay was supplied. ASUS’ Eee Pad Transformer has been one of the more popular Android tablets to launch over the past year. Some reports suggest it is one of only a few such devices with sales that will reach up into the millions this year.
After teasing a new tablet under the parody brand “TabCo” for the past several months, Fusion Garage took the wraps off of the Grid 10 tablet and a new Grid 4 smartphone on Monday. The Grid 10 offers a custom “GridOS” operating system, is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768-pixel display and is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset presumably clocked at 1GHz. The GridOS supports Android applications as well, and users can purchase and download new apps from the “Grid Shop” or from Amazon’s App Store. In addition, GridOS has a unique home screen that allows users to create “clusters” of applications that span over an infinite amount of space. Fusion Garage also announced a GridOS-powered smartphone — the $399 Grid 4, which will ship in the fourth quarter — that will be powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Grid 10 Wi-Fi tablet will launch on September 15th for $499, and a 3G-capable version will follow for $599. Amazon will carry the tablet and pre-orders are open now. Also of note, all existing JooJoo owners will receive a free Grid 10 in the coming months.
Non-Apple tablet shipments are expected to grow as much as 134% year-on-year in 2012, DigiTimes reported on Monday. That’s larger than the 55% shipment boost Apple’s iPad is expected to see next year. Android will be the catalyst for the growth; analysts predict that 19-20 million Android tablets will ship this year and that a far greater 44-45 million will ship during 2012 thanks to the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablets will likely be powered by new chips from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Apple is expected to ship 35-36 million iPad tablets this year and analysts project that it will move as many as 54-55 million next year. Those figures sound about right to us. In its fiscal third-quarter earnings statement Apple announced that it had sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter. More →
United States International Trade Commission judge James Gildea has ruled that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system infringes on two patents owned by S3. Judge Gildea also ruled that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch do not infringe on S3’s patents, however. The patents in question are related to NVIDIA graphics chips used in Apple’s Mac computers, but it is unclear which devices exactly are infringing on S3’s technology. HTC purchased S3 for $300 million in early July, and a different ITC judge recently ruled that the Taiwanese company is guilty of infringing on two patents owned by Apple related to a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” HTC’s chief financial officer Winston Yung said on Tuesday that his company was willing to bury the hatchet with Apple and that the two companies have to “sit down and figure it out.” More →
Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday that it will offer Samsung’s 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 beginning Thursday, July 28th. There will be 16GB and 32GB models available for $529 and $629, respectively. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 runs Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and is equipped with a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800-pixel resolution display, a 3-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video, and a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera for video chats. Customers can choose from three different monthly data plans from Verizon Wireless, including a $30 2GB option, a $50 5GB option, and an $80 10GB option. In our recent review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 we called it the “thinnest, sexiest tablet available today.” Read on for the full press release. More →
Qualcomm said it expects to ship between 120 million and 125 million chips during the quarter ending in September, a figure that is lower than the 130 million units MLM Partners LLC analyst Tero Kuittinen expected the company to move. The lower projection hit Qualcomm in late trading on Tuesday when its stock price fell 3.8%. Qualcomm blamed the lower than expected forecast on a weak European economy and said that consumers there aren’t buying new phones as quickly. “Chip units for autumn are light,” Qualcomm chief financial officer Bill Keitel said during a conference call. “The blame likely lies in Europe. European inventory correction now seems to be a fact instead of a theory. We reduced a bit our forecast for how many new CDMA-based units would sell into Europe. The situation demands that we still be cautious.” The company also noted that it hopes to begin working with manufacturers to build its Snapdragon processor into tablets. That chip is mostly used in smartphones now and manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola have instead used NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip to power Android tablets. More →
Motorola has already built and is testing prototypes of the XOOM’s successor, Fudzilla said on Thursday. The device is reportedly much thinner than the XOOM and packs a 10-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and an impressive 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution. While known specs are currently slim, the new tablet apparently runs Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” and it’s possible that it will be powered by NVIDIA’s brand new quad-core Kal-El processor. Fudzilla said it’s possible Motorola will launch the tablet sometime this year, but it remains unclear if this will be the previously leaked XOOM 2 or possibly another XOOM tablet. Hopefully we hear more on it in the near future. More →