Apple A6 vs Nvidia tegra3, this is what eveyone has been asking. You may be wondering (like I am) these days, about what the near future holds for the tablet market. We are going to be in the 4th quarter here pretty soon and the next gen tabs should start hitting the shelves soon if we are to believe what these manufacturer’s keep feeding us with their press releases. Since the beginning of the year, Nvidia has been hawlking powerpoint slides of tegra3 and the roadmap of future parts, Asus has been talking of its second gen transformer and rumors have been flying all around the ipad3 and iphone 5. All pointing to 3rd or 4th quarter release.
Beleive that noone outside of a R&D lab knows the performance of these chips, and a more important question is what type of operating systems next gen tabs will run. Most consumers do not need anything more powerful than Apples A5 chip or Nvidia’s Tegra2, but apple must continue to invovate or loose the tablet game. If you think about it, its still just a big iphone, this is one of the main reasons I still have yet to buy one. It does not fit in my pocket and it cannot replace my laptop or pc. I do though have an idea of what Would coax me into buying a slate device, a viable alternative to a Cintiq. Regardless though, more powerful chips are in order and it cant wait, intel’s 22nm 3d parts and Windows 8 are going to give the arm camp a run for its money.
So why the sudden silence from all the manufacturer’s? Where is all the hype? I need some excitement and entertainment in my life. I would also really like to know what I may be purchasing myself for christmas this year.
Apples A6 chip, if it is any where as impressive as the jump to the A5 from the A4, I will be a extremely ecstatic. But it seems as if Apple is having issues with parts or it is just taking its sweet time to really put some polish on its next chip. Just a few days ago word came from TSMC that their has been a re-spin of the A6. Could this be because of poor yields on the supposedly fantastic new 28nm manufacturing process? Apparently the reason for the respin is that they are going the whole 3d transistor route, which in my eyes means the parts were running hot most likely due to leaky transistors. 3d parts seem way to early in the game if we are not even seeing 28nm parts in tablets yet. We will see A6 chips Q2 2012 at the earliest is what they are saying.
Nvidia, oh how I would love to see that 5X performance increase from tegra2 in my future tablet. You know that 12+ inch Asus transformer 2, the one with the Wacom digitizer like the EP121. Wouldn’t that just be perfect, dual booting ice cream sandwich and windows 8. But rumor has it that nvidia too is having yield issues. It would not come as a surprise, Nvidia always has problems with their junk running too hot. What about this Tegra3 powered LG Nexus Prime we were all hearing about early this year? You guessed it, Samsung gets to make it this time around with a dual core, most likely a Omap 4460 or Krait. So tegra3 will most likely ship by Christmas, but only in a device or two because they will not be able to ship a lot of parts due to leakage and yields. Taking a hit on wasted silicon yet again?
Neither of them are wining. Maybe its TSMC fault? Finger pointing is fun for consumers. Even though they say that they have 89 28nm parts already taped out, it doesn’t mean jack. Prototypes having already been made and samples out and about does not mean they have not went through dozens of wafers to get a few good chips. TSMC has announced that they are now expecting lower Q4 revenue from 28nm parts than previously expected, due to the weak economy they say. TSMC always seem to have problems, kind of like Nvidia. Delays suck.
Samsung’s fabs are most likely busy due to the fact that they are churning out whatever lame refresh of the A5 apple has in mind for this holiday seasons “must have cutting edge” iphone 5 and ipad HD. No A6 = super lame. The end of this month Samsung is finally releasing the U.S. Variants of the popular galaxy s2 without their own Exynos processor. They will most likely be running Omaps, Tegra2′s or Snapdragons because they cannot produce enough parts out of their own foundries.
Qualcomm and Texas Instruments will do good this year although they wont have quad core parts for some time to come. Especially if they are using TSMC for their 28nm assuming there is a problem with production. Qualcomms Krait chip is supposed to be pretty badass but most likely wont see it in anything by the end of the year anyhow. And whatever happened to Marvell’s armada 3core parts? I’m still waiting on those things.
So anyway, if you are here for some legitimate answer to the question, Apple A6 vs Nvidia Tegra3, you are way ahead of what questions you should be asking right now. Nobody knows, nobody even knows what the specs are looking like. All anyone knows is that there is most likely further delays because no one wants to ship a lame duck. Delays suck.
So in my eyes, chances are that I will be disapointed come this holiday season. Regardless I’m crossing my fingers that one of these manufacturers surprise everyone with some powerful, high end tablets, because this $99 HP touchpad is not cutting it.