NVIDIA has revealed its new Kai tablet reference platform, a platform the company hopes will drive down the cost of tablets while still maintaining powerful capabilities.
According to The Verge, NVIDIA announced the new chip at its annual meeting of stockholders last week. The reference design features a quad-core Tegra 3 system on a chip that will be featured in Android tablets that will cost a mere $199. The Verge transcribed the following quote from Rob Csonger, vice president of corporate marketing at NVIDIA, from the audio log of the meeting:
Our strategy on Android is simply to enable quad-core tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich to be developed and brought out to market at the $199 price point, and the way we do that is a platform we've developed called Kai. So this uses a lot of the secret sauce that's inside Tegra 3 to allow you to develop a tablet at a much lower cost, by using a lot of innovation that we've developed to reduce the power that's used by the display and use lower cost components within the tablet.
This isn't the first time NVIDIA's made rumblings about powerful $199 tablets; its CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, has been making proclamations for low-cost, high-power tablets for months. Such a platform could possibly spur a "race to the bottom" in tablet costs. The current best-selling Android tablet, the Kindle Fire, costs $199, although its far less powerful than a Tegra 3-powered tablet.
Last year, NVIDIA showed off the potential capabilities of its quad-core Tegra 3 platforms, including dynamic lighting and realistic physics.