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Nvidia Kai to enable cut-price Android tablets for all

Quad-core and a whole lot more?

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Nvidia has let slip 'Kai', the quad-core ARM-architecture system-on-a-chip it hopes will get powerful tablets into World+Dog's hands for $199 (£127) a pop.

Speaking to the chip designer's shareholders, investor relations chief Rob Csonger said: "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."

Csonger didn't say much about the part's capabilities other than it "uses a lot of the secret sauce that's inside Tegra 3 to allow you to develop a tablet at a much lower cost".

The trick, according to the Nvidia VP, is to reduce the power consumed by the tablet - typically the display backlight is the main drain, followed by the CPU/GPU - allowing tablet makers to implement lower-cost components.

Presumably that means a higher level of SoC integration than we've seen before - Flash, memory and more, all on the die, perhaps - to reduce vendors' bill-of-materials costs.

Alas Csonger gave no indication when Kai might debut - or when we'll see the cheap tablets it has been designed to enable. ®

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