Last year, NVIDIA announced a then-groundbreaking tablet design called Kai. It was essentially a reference – a blueprint, if you will – for manufacturers to design and build extremely affordable tablets. The plan was clearly laid out, but the platform itself was incredibly flexible so the manufacturing costs and retail pricing could fluctuate as much as the design of the tablets themselves. Google's 2012 Nexus 7 was just one of the tablets that took advantage of Kai.
The name Kai seemingly popped out of nowhere during NVIDIA's meeting of stockholders last month. Since then, we've heard it many times - but I still don't think it's getting the attention it deserves. Its importance, and what it means for the future of Android tablets, is being greatly understated across the board. I believe that Kai is going to be revolutionary for Android tablets - here's why.
The Budget Powerhouse Is Upon Us
We don't often use the words budget and powerhouse together in the same sentence.
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.
Back at CES, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang rocked the house when he briefly showed off a new 7" quad-core tablet that was said to be introing with a price tag of $250. Since then, he publicly stated that $199 Tegra 3 tablets could become a reality sometime this summer. We're now hearing more details of how these budget powerhouses will become a reality: a new platform call Kai.
Little is known about Kai right now, only that it's based on the Tegra 3 chip, but is developed at a much lower cost.