Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Nvidia’s Quad-Core Tegra 3 Ready, Asus’ Transformer Prime Almost Ready

For those who have been waiting for a mobile device with a quad-core chip, the wait is over. Well, almost over.

Nvidia is announcing on Wednesday that it is ready with its Tegra 3 chip, previously known by its Kal-El code name. However, the first device running the chip, Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime, won’t be shipping until December.

The Asus tablet is set to go on sale for $499 for a 32 gigabyte model and $100 more for a 64GB version, with the optional plug-in keyboard dock priced at $149. Despite some hopes it would ship with Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich edition of Android, the tablet will initially come loaded with Android 3.2. An upgrade should be available in December, Asus said.

As for Nvidia’s chip, the company claims it will offer three times the graphic performance while offering 61 percent more battery life — meaning up to 12 hours of HD video playback on a single charge. The Tegra 3 name will come as no surprise to AllThingsD readers, as CEO Jen-Hsun Huang used it on stage at AsiaD. Asus CEO Jonney Shih also showed off the Transformer Prime during his appearance at our Hong Kong conference.

Although touted as a quad-core processor, the chip also includes a fifth processing core that can be used in place of the four main cores to run devices in a lower power state. Phones running the chip, along with more tablets, are due next year.

Nvidia first announced its plans for Kal-El at Mobile World Congress back in February.

The company, naturally, isn’t stopping with Tegra 3. Its road map shows a chip code-named Wayne due next year, with roughly double the performance; follow-on chips “Logan” and “Stark” are due in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and promise logarithmically better performance.


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