Nvidia’s Kai platform pushed to smartphones this year. Low-cost quad-core Tegra 3 handsets coming
If you’re in love with the recently announced Google Nexus 7 for the fact that it packs a top of the line processor in a very, very affordable package – good news. There’s more where that came from. A lot more, in fact.
Nvidia is expanding its Kai platform into smartphone territory. Kai is Nvidia’s low-cost refocusing of the Tegra 3 quad-core chipset. It’s basically a cheaper Tegra 3 that’s been made compatible with cheaper additional hardware components (such as memory and displays). That enables $199 tablets, like we’ve seen with the Nexus 7, without giving up on the 4-PLUS-1 CPU architecture and ’12-core graphics’ that Nvidia likes so much to brag about.
Kai will be in smartphones by the end of this year. That means that we should get ready for some pretty amazingly-priced quad-core devices in the coming months. The first partners for this endeavor are apparently a number of Chinese phone makers. That’s all the information we have for now, but do note that this wording doesn’t necessarily mean that these first low-cost handsets will be confined to the Chinese market. After all, Huawei and ZTE are also ‘Chinese phone makers’ and they’re selling their products globally.
ZTE has shown a quad-core smartphone having the Tegra 3 processor built-in at MWC in February, yet that’s not been launched yet. Perhaps it will be slightly retooled and arrive on the (international) market with this Kai platform inside. That could mean it may beat all its competitors in pricing. And that’s the good thing about Kai – it has the potential to enable another wave of competition (based on lowering prices) in the mobile world. Which is always good for consumers.
Depending on how low-cost Kai will be for smartphones, Nvidia may be starting to compete heavily at the lower end of the market with the likes of Qualcomm, ST, and perhaps even with MediaTek’s most expensive chips. This shows that Nvidia is very confident about its efforts in the mobile market, and at least so far it’s probably got all the reasons to be.