Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

Summary:Samsung, Nvidia and Microsoft are on tap to show off a Windows 8 quad core tablet next week.

Nvidia has been bubbling with optimism this week and there may be a good reason for it: The company next week is on tap to demonstrate its quad-core Kal-El chip on a Microsoft Windows 8 tablet.

We're hearing in multiple places that a Windows 8 tablet run by Kal-El will make an appearance at the Build conference next week. Samsung, Nvidia and Microsoft will introduce the Windows 8 tablet in a demo. These sources also indicate that a Samsung tablet will be the first Microsoft device with Kal-El. The demonstration would also indicate that Samsung plans to make a Windows 8 tablet. Reports surfaced in the Korea Economic Daily.

What's unclear is when this Windows 8-Kal-El creation will be publicly available. Our sources are touting the first Microsoft tablet with Kal-El, but the timing doesn't quite add up. Kal-El will be released in the third quarter, but Windows 8 won't be released to manufacturing until April 2012 at the earliest.

Windows 8 bits are expected to be handed out to developers next week.

Given those moving parts, it's likely that Kal-El will power the demo Windows 8 unit to be claimed as a first. But Nvidia's quad core chip will run on Android in a tablet you can actually buy later this year. As Mary Jo Foley noted, Microsoft showed off a quad-core Windows slate at TechEd New Zealand last month.

Another option is that a Windows 7 tablet will be handed to developers at Build, but it can be upgraded to Windows 8.

Add it up and Nvidia's optimism this week---the company upped its fiscal 2013 outlook and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has been confident---may be warranted because it's betting on two tablet horses in Android and Windows 8.

A few points to note:

  • If Samsung is on the Windows 8 tablet bandwagon it offer some serious Android diversification. Given Samsung's patent lawsuits with Apple, a Microsoft option could deliver returns just based on legal costs.
  • Nvidia's plan to trump Qualcomm on quad-core market share may rest with Microsoft. Analysts have been skeptical about Nvidia's optimism largely because Android tablets haven't become consumer hits. If Nvidia has all of its non-iPad bases covered its goal to have 70 percent market share in non-Apple tablets looks more realistic.

TechRepublic's Jason Hiner, Mary Jo Foley and ZDNet UK's Rupert Goodwins contributed to this report.

More Nvidia:

Build previews:

Topics: Windows, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Samsung, Tablets


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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