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How Will NVIDIA Tegra 4 Delay Affect Windows RT 8.1 Tablets?

Delays, delays! NVIDIA has just altered its mobile roadmap, with the anticipated Tegra chips getting a little shuffle. Tegra 4i is set to arrive some six months earlier, while Tegra 4 itself slips by a few months.

Jen-Hsun Huang, the chief executive officer of NVIDIA was recently noted as saying during a conference call with financial analysts:

“Because we decided to pull in Tegra 4i by six months, as a result, we slipped out Tegra 4 by about three months, we are going to have a trough in Q2 this year.”

The chip maker did not announce any specific dates for the release of products based on Tegra 4 or Tegra 4i, but earlier rumors suggested that Tegra 4i smartphones were said to ship early in 2014. This new release date shuffle means we may see them launch later this year.

While Tegra 4 is the regular variant of the company’s SoC solution — the successor to the Tegra 3 chips used in Surface RT — meant for tablets, phablets and high-end smartphones, Tegra 4i is a cut-down version built for mainstream smartphones.

Codenamed Wayne, Tegra 4 is said to feature four ARM Cortex-A15 general-purpose cores to go with a custom second-generation low-power general-purpose core.  The anticipated chip also incorporates 72 custom Nvidia GeForce stream processors.

And these provide around six times the graphics processing capabilities of Tegra 3.

It is widely expected that many upcoming Windows RT 8.1 tablets will house Tegra 4 chips, and the increased performance factor they provide coupled with more affordable pricing were forecasted as the two main reasons for success of these new Windows-based slates.

This particular delay could see some tablet makers gravitating towards solutions from competing SoC designers like Qualcomm, while others could postpone their Windows RT devices to early next year.

It is not yet clear what SoC powers the second generation Surface RT, but we are bound to have more information on this if Microsoft unveils its new slate at the BUILD developer conference next month.

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