Nvidia four-core chip to power quad-res Apple iPad

If only

Up creek without 'Pad

And, as I say, just when the notion of an autumn iPad revision was prompting slow shakes of the head among Apple watchers, along comes Nvidia with a product that'll be out right on schedule for the iPad 3 and has the power to drive the screen the gadget is said to have.

It could, of course, be coincidence. The rumours of the 2048 x 1536 iPad derived from claims about a tablet screen assembly with just such a resolution. Since iPad is the best known tablet, it was assumed that the über display was destined for the Apple product. It might have actually been a Tegra 3 test rig, which in turn explains the sudden talk of quad-core chippery a few days after the "retina display" iPad rumour broke.

The other point to note is that Apple's iOS devices contain Apple-branded chips. Yes, they're essentially rebranded Samsung parts, but while the South Korean giant might not care too much about that, it's hard to see Nvidia agreeing to it.

Nvidia wants to be a key player in the mobile gadget chip market, and it's up against some stiff competition from the likes of Samsung and Qualcomm. Selling lots of chips to Apple is good, but if Apple pretends it designed them, that won't persuade other manufacturers to buy Nvidia's technology.

To recap, Nvidia will release exactly the chip Apple needs to build the 4x resolution iPad it's rumoured to be building, at exactly the right time for such a product to be brought to market when it's rumoured to be bringing such a device to market.

Do you really want to get your iPad 2 pre-order in now? ®

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