Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

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.

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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, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Samsung, Software, Tablets

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40 comments
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  • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

    Larry, very nice post. I totally agree with the critical points about Samsung and NVidia strategy you brought at the end of the post. Very good post.
    Ram U
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      @Rama.NET - Hold on there hoss ... not quite sure why Larry & co. are so confused.

      Kal-El ships in fall 2011. Devices running Kal-El ship shortly afterwards. Some of those devices will be running Android. Some, I am sure, will be made available running Win8 or a Win8 bootstrapper allowing the device to be re-flashed with newer OS builds.

      Why?

      Because there are going to be a ton of developers wanting to port or write apps for Win8 ARM tablets and they'll need tablet hardware to test, debug, tune said apps.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @bitcrazed
        I think I was not clear. What my intention was it would be MSFT that could save these OEMs who had all these channeled Android tablets sitting out there. With Win8, it will will give re-birth to those unsold inventory. These Tablets will be rebranded as Win8 Tablets. At the same time the these Win7 tablets will be powered with x86 or Atom processors would get the Win8 written for those processors. It is a win win situation for both OEMs and the developers.
        Ram U
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @Rama.NET: Sorry, but your reply is even more confusing than before!

        Most existing tablets are single-core devices. Some are dual-core. Most have too little RAM, too little storage and unimpressive screens.

        Why on earth would Microsoft want to have Win8 installed on those devices?

        In order for Win7 to run on ARM tablets, Microsoft will have to port Windows7's codebase to ARM - this isn't going to happen: Microsoft had to dismantle and reassemble most of Windows in order to facilitate the port to ARM - they're not about to do this all over again on a 2-year-old codebase.

        This entire article is about nVidia's quad-core ARM chips being used in Samsung's up-coming Win8 tablets.

        Today's tablets running Intel's ATOM processors are diabolically slow and last 2-3 hours on a single charge. ARM-based devices will last 8-10 hours on a single charge and (due to their 4 cores) outperform ATOM by a wide margin.
        bitcrazed
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      @Rama.NET
      I don't think it is possible to have Windows 7 running on this tablet since it does not support ARM based processors. It will have to be Windows 8.
      sharkboyjohn
  • If it's a Windows 7 tablet....

    to make it "fully" compatible with Windows 8, it has to support side-by-side apps, and that means it has to have a minimum 1366x768 screen, of which I haven't seen any yet. So if that's true, it's a model that will ship this year, but hasn't yet.
    Joe_Raby
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      @Joe_Raby - Why will a Win8 tablet require 1366x768?
      bitcrazed
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      @Joe_Raby

      I have an ACER convertibletablet with 1366x768 screen. Waiting for a Win 8 beta to make it fly ;-)
      tonymcs@...
  • How much is that doggie in the window?

    $499? $99 after two months on the shelves?!<br><br>Seriously, I can see such a tablet having some appeal in the enterprise given how Windows-centric it is. But, for consumers (and probably more than a few enterprise users as well), Microsoft would have been better off with WP7 on 7-inch form factor tablets. Just think, Microsoft would already have tablets on retail store shelves and in customers hands.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Just not possible

      @Rabid Howler Monkey

      The hardware was not where it needed to be to make a tablet that was:

      a) slim
      b) light
      c) cool
      d) fast enough
      e) had a long-lasting battery

      x86 chips are getting there but power management vs. performance is still a weak spot (along with HD multimedia for low-power chips), and ARM performance is increasing to the point where it's going to be usable for regular compute tasks.
      Joe_Raby
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @Joe_Raby Windows Phone 7 (WP7) is supported on ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better processors:<br><br><a href="http://www.techautos.com/2010/03/17/windows-phone-7-series-hardware-requirements/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.techautos.com/2010/03/17/windows-phone-7-series-hardware-requirements/</a><br><br>In addition, it supports 800x480 screen resolution commonly used on 7-inch form-factor tablets, with capacitive touch.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @Rabid Howler Monkey

        Windows Phone 7 is build atop the Windows CE Kernel. For now. Rumor has it that Windows Phone 8 will be ported to run atop the Win8+ Kernel.

        Why?

        Windows CE kernel ...
        * Doesn't have sufficient security built-in to the kernel - Windows NT kernel does.
        * Doesn't support SMP very well - NT kernel does
        * Doesn't support many important Windows APIs - NT Kernel does
        * Has its own driver model that's incompatible with NT's drivers making porting to new hardware harder.
        * Isn't 64-bit capable. NT kernel is.
        ...
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @bitcrazed Interesting, but not relevant to a WP7-based tablet. The Windows CE kernel limitations haven't stopped Microsoft and it's OEMs from manufacturing and shipping WP7-based smartphones. And Nokia will soon be cranking them out too.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @Rabid Howler Monkey:

        A tablet running an up-scaled Windows Phone-based OS wouldn't sell. Why? For all the reasons I gave before, but primarily because most line of business apps would need to be completely rewritten - not ported - written again from scratch. Why? Because WindowsCE supports a very small subset of Win32, an incomplete subset of .NET, doesn't support VB runtime (still used by A LOT of in-house apps), doesn't support full-Silverlight, etc.

        The big reason netbooks didn't take off until they started shipping with Windows? No pre-existing apps ran on the Linux OS they all shipped with at the time. Same is true for tablets. Tablets that can be connected/disconnected from a keyboard base a la Asus' Eee Transformer will, I predict, become the norm for business laptops in the next couple of years - your laptop is a tablet ... and a laptop.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

        @bitcrazed Wrt a WP7-based, 7-inch form-factor tablet, my assumption was that the apps would be the same as used by WP7 smartphones (similar to what occurs with Android 2.x smartphones and 7-inch tablets). Perhaps, requiring some minor changes from the app devs. I wouldn't expect Windows 7 apps to run on such a tablet.

        Your take on tablets and business laptops is also interesting. The next, like the last, several years in computing will be exciting, that's for sure.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • If MS can deliver thousands of touch based apps ...

      @Rabid Howler Monkey,

      ... on Windows 8 launch - including MS Office - these devices should be able to do well in the consumer market. If Intel and OEMs can deliver convetible ultrabooks, then they should do well in the enterprise and the consumer markets also.
      P. Douglas
  • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

    Typo: If Samsung is on the Windows 8 tablet bandwagon it offer some serious Android diversification.
    Ammalgam
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      Why wouldn't they? They don't care which OS you like; they just want to sell hardware.
      Robert Hahn
  • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

    This Microsoft Windows based tablet just might be the tablet to change all tablets. Quad-core is some powerful stuff.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Samsung, Nvidia to demo quad-core Windows 8 tablet

      Yeah, we know, the birds will sing and the unicorns will leap for joy. Lay off the sauce, willya?
      Robert Hahn