Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 system on a chip (SoC) has been very popular amongst smartphone and tablet manufacturers and the general public for a while now, but Nvidia are claiming that by democratising it (read: making a reference design) as Kai we should start seeing quad-core tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich for under $200 (£130) by the end of the summer.
According to Nvidia, products are already being built around Kai at this price point, and with ASUS teaming up with Nvidia on the $250 Eee Pad MeMO ME370T that definitely sounds like a reality. Amazon redefined the tablet industry with the Kindle Fire that it built around selling its own services such as streaming video, but a Tegra 3 based chip running the show on tablets from a variety of manufacturers at the same price point would make things very interesting.
With Windows 8/RT just around the corner, and Microsoft knowing that it is going to have to compete on price against its Android and iOS alternatives – we may likely see $199 Windows tablets making use of the Kai technology as well. After the iPad dominating the tablet arena since launch, we may finally see some real competitors to the device on both price and features on multiple platforms. 2012 looks like it will finally be the year of the tablet, not just the iPad.