By now, you've probably heard about NVIDIA's Kai platform. However, it hasn't been entirely clear what Kai actually is. Is it a tablet? Or a specific chipset? If so, can it be used in other devices? NVIDIA recently posted on its blog more details about Kai that answers those very questions, as well as touches on the possibilities of where Kai can be used.

First off, Kai is neither a specific piece of hardware, nor is it a software configuration. It's a design reference. NVIDIA wasn't pleased with the crop of low-end tablets currently on the market. Users really only have two options: spend upwards of $400 and get a device that offers a good user experience, solid performance, and a vast app ecosystem; or, spend less money and get an underpowered device with a less-than-ideal experience. With that in mind, Kai was born with the intent to bring the powerhouse performance of the quad-core Tegra 3 chip to budget-priced devices.

Like I said, Kai is a design reference. But what does that actually mean? NVIDIA describes it as a "blueprint providing the basis for future low-cost tablets with a premium experience." The Kai reference design is a 7" device with a "standard resolution" - which is 1024x600 for the 7" form factor - that utilizes low-cost PC-type memory, and "system-level innovations like DirectTouch and PRISM."

The most important thing here, though, is that NVIDIA notes the Kai platform can be altered to work well with a whole range of display sizes and resolutions. This means that a range of low-cost tablets are possible thanks to Kai - including 7.7", 8.9", 10.1", and more.

Ultimately, Kai could change the game in a big way - $200 fully-functional, useful, and powerful tablets in various sizes from a variety of manufacturers can now easily become a reality.


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Levi Wilcox

    still getting the infinity...

  • Todd

    The first thought I had when I read about Kai was that this was the result of Google telling someone (probably Asus) to make a good /cheap tablet and nVidia has taken the ball and run with whatever information they gleaned from working on that.

  • Arsalan

    What corners are they cutting however? I doubt the processor is the same as the one in the transformer prime and such.

  • Vallhalen

    still waiting for google device :P

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      I have a strong hunch that the "Nexus tablet" will be the first example of Kai. 

  • Vikky

    Here is my question

    How do you design an app that scales well across different resolutions for Android phones and tablets?