Nvidia’s $199 Tegra 3 tablet will be a reality, company launches Kai platform

The $199 Tegra 3 Android tablet is coming, and sooner than you think. Nvidia unveiled its plans for a tablet platform it called “Kai” this week, demonstrating how it plans to democratize the Tegra 3 SoC to make it considerably easier for low-cost OEMs to bring high-performance tablets to market.

While no products have been publicly announced just yet, Kai seems to be an evolution of the Asus MeMo 370T, that 7-inch $249 ICS tablet that debuted at CES and subsequently disappeared. There has been talk that the product was co-opted by Google to create a sub-$200 Nexus tablet, and that it will debut during Google I/O next month, but right now it’s all speculation. The latest rumours are that Google delayed launching the tablet until July to ensure it could hit that $199 price point.

Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, told a group of shareholders that vendors are already building tablets on the Kai platform:

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.

We’re hoping that the “innovation…to reduce the power” is a reduction of die size from 40nm to 32nm, since it would not only lower the per-chip cost to the vendor but improve thermal output and reduce overall size. Most high-end Android tablets on the market today are powered by Nvidia’s “4+1+ Tegra 3 SoC, and is proving to be a success in handsets as well. The international HTC One X and upcoming LG Optimus 4X HD incorporate Tegra 3.

Source: The Verge