As Mobile World Congress approaches (February 25-28) it is anticipated there will be a number of announcements made in regards to cell phones and other mobile technologies. In the case of SoC manufactures, the major players have already shown their cards as the market awaits further details on how they will execute delivery.
Possible 2013 Chromebook suitors include the following.
- Intel (Haswell Architecture)
- nVidia Tegra 4
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 600/800
- Samsung “big.Little” Exynos 5 (8 cores)
There is much speculation all of the above vendors are preparing Chromebooks and speculation (Chrome OS code hints) Google is currently testing a game changing Tegra 4 nVidia Chromebook. Here is a rundown of the SoC specs as they are known today.
- 4-core Cortex-A15 processor running at 1.9 GHz
- Fifth/companion Cortex-A15 core running at 700 or 800 MHz
- Manufactured as a 28nm HPL (28nm low power with high-k + metal gates)
- Supports for LP-DDR3 dual-channel memory
- GeForce GPU with 72 custom cores
- LTE capability with optional Icera i500 chipset
- Support for UHD like 2560×1700 screen resolution
From a user experience perspective one can safely say it is a much improved Tegra 3; 2.6 faster web browsing and six times the GPU horsepower.
Get Your Chromebook Game On
Tegra 4 is a good fit for Chromebook as more than anyone nVidia has the talent and experience to bring advanced game play to the table.
As evidence of this, nVidia’s Project SHIELD is a Tegra 4 Android “Jellybean” device with a multi-touch screen which permits gamers to access and play an extensive catalog of Android games. There are many Project SHIELD optimized games already available through Tegrazone with more under development. nVidia is reaching out to the gaming community and offering to assist developers in optimizing their products for this platform. For the Chromebook ecosystem, the next topic is important.
Although not specific to Tegra 4, GRID holds the promise of a fantastic cloud gaming experience which fits hand and glove with Chromebook. Add a UHD like user experience to the excitement of game play and that becomes compelling. In addition, the door remains open for the cloud delivery of game optimizations for Tegra 4 much like Riptide GP was optimized for Tegra 3.
Last and certainly not least is the development occurring in the Ouya gaming community which is targeted to Tegra.
In all likely hood the new Nexus Chromebook(s) will be announced during Google IO which is scheduled for May 15-17. Tegra 4 availability is targeted for Q2 so with any luck we should see products by early to mid summer.