Tegra 4 was not ready in time
A few interesting Nexus 7 rumours popped up last week, so we asked around and managed to confirm that a Qualcomm SoC will find its place in the new Nexus 7. The main reason, despite the obvious one 3G/4G advantage, is the fact that Nvidia’s Tegra 4 got delayed.
Before any manufacturer can start full scale production it needs to have the final hardware samples. These got delayed, as Nvidia was forced to respin the new Tegra. We don’t know what exactly went wrong, but Tegra 4 silicon that got back in late Q3 early Q4 was not production ready, getting Nvidia some two quarters behind schedule. This setback was enough to cost them at least one significant design win and the Nexus 7 deal goes to Qualcomm. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Pro SoCs are certainly capable of powering the new tablet, which is said to feature a full HD screen.
This is more of a moral victory more than a significant gain for Qualcomm, as the company already dominates the ARM market in terms of sales. It is safe to assume that future Google tablets and phones may feature similar chipsets going forward. The Nexus 4 already features a quad-core Krait. The Nexus 10 uses Samsung’s Exynos 5 dual-core with Mali T604 graphics, simply as it needed more graphics muscle to cope with the 2560×1600 screen. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 can certainly do a better job, but they are not available yet.
The Nexus 7 design win was a big coup for Nvidia, and even today this is definitely the best 7-inch tablet on the market, priced perfectly to fit the needs of many. With that in mind, the second generation Nexus 7 has a lot to live up to and we don’t doubt for a second that it will be more than an adequate successor to one of the best tablets of 2012.