Dec 13 AT 11:17 PM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

Analyst says next Samsung Galaxy devices to feature NVIDIA’s Tegra 2

Stop me if you have heard this one. Every major Android player is releasing Tegra 2 devices early next year. We have known for awhile now that LG and Motorola dove head first into the dual-core goodness, but a new report from Forbes believes NVIDIA may have picked up another surprising customer.

Ambrish Srivastava, a semiconductors analyst with BMO Capital Markets, says he expects the next Samsung Galaxy tablet will be based on an NVIDIA chip.

If Samsung is open to using Tegra 2 in their tablets, we see no reason why they wouldn’t also use it for smartphones (just like LG and Motorola).

Mr. Srivastava just spent an entire week visiting more than 30 tech companies in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong so let’s assume he is correct. Based on all the public comments available on the web and everything we have heard to date, it sounds totally believable.

Remember NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently said in an interview, “Motorola, Samsung and LG are very important to us and will represent long term some of our biggest customers if we are successful.”

We have known about the LG and Motorola products for awhile, but no one has confirmed any Samsung devices until now.

Samsung Mobile has been using the Hummingbird processor (produced by Samsung Semiconductor) in their current lineup of Galaxy devices and we automatically assumed they would migrate to Orion for their dual-core strategy, but it sounds like there are several problems with that plan.

For starters, we have no evidence that Orion is even in production yet. We have seen some engineering samples demoed at trade shows, but that is a lot different from the final silicon that will ship in products and we don’t think Orion will be widely available till Q2 2011.

Next we know that Google said Tegra 2 was the lead platform for Honeycomb tablets.

This means that Samsung Mobile doesn’t have a dual-core CPU ready in time to compete with LG and Motorola. Even if they did, it would not be part of the initial wave of Honeycomb devices.

So if Samsung wants to participate in the dual-core party happening in Q1, then the Tegra 2 processor might be their only option.

Remember those reports about a dual-core Samsung Galaxy 2 and my rumor about a dual-core Nexus S in testing? I believe both those stories are still valid and Samsung is in fact evaluating the performance of the Tegra 2 right now. NVIDIA has been selling the chips for almost a year now, so why wouldn’t Samsung place an order to check them out.

The only question now is – How fast can Samsung bring these Tegra-powered devices to market? Their biggest competitor LG already finished their phone and has a tablet on the way, so Samsung needs to put the pedal down if they want to catch up.

I’ve heard it reported over and over that most smartphones and tablets take 12-16 months to design, but I’m starting to question that as I learn more about the business. It feels more like these companies plan devices with general specs then rush to swap out components several months before launch so they can top the competition. Not everyone does this, but it’s a pretty cut-throat business and that’s the reason why so many rumored products never see the light of day.

What do you think about Forbes report? Should Samsung adopt the Tegra 2 processor and launch devices early next year or should they wait and see how Orion turns out? We know Samsung loves to crank products out to sell to the carriers (example: Galaxy Tab), so I have a strong feeling that this report turns out to be true.

Some people might notice we left HTC out of this dual-core discussion. They are married with Qualcomm and will most certainly wait for the third-gen Snapdragon whenever that is ready.

Source: Forbes

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Shantanu

    Right on the money..

    >I’ve heard it reported over and over that most smartphones and tablets take 12-16 months to design, but I’m starting to question that as I learn more about the business. It feels more like these companies plan devices with general specs then rush to swap out components several months before launch so they can top the competition.
    True here as well..12-16 months lead time was quite a long time ago though..Everything happens too quickly these days..I’d say more like 5-6 months..In fact, now companies are starting to evaluate multiple components simultaneously till quite late in the cycle

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    I wouldn’t mind them using T2. They just need to build a solid device and let the internals be powered by T2. I do want to see what Orion can do when it is ready. I mean Hummingbird already was a good hit. Samsung makes awesome hardware. Very curious as to what Orion can do. I mean T2 will be amazing itself but it won’t be the only dual core out there. You have Qualcomm trying to pitch in as well. I personally want to see them all in action in mobile devices to give variety and let consumers (who really know the tech stuff) decide what’s best for them.

  • http://Website dagamer34

    I’m sure Samsung will be using Orion when possible, but considering the much higher bar I think a tablet needs to meet, using a common hardware platform like the Tegra 2 ensures a certain level of performance. Unlike smartphones, I doubt a “budget” tablet will fly if users are going to be spending $400+ dollars on these things, even after rebates from contracts.

  • http://Website Samuel

    I will not upgrade at all until samsung produces a dual core superphone with a super amoled display. Im all about quality, and the quality of the screen is amazing on the galaxy s. Yes they are slow as hell when it comes to os updates but im in no rush.

    • chris0101


      I’ve got a Samsung Epic that I imported from the US, for which I paid about $300 US + Shipping + import fees. I’m using it as an “Android touch” right now and I have no intention of upgrading until I get:

      1. A super Amoled or something better
      2. An ARM Cortex A9 dual core CPU
      3. A better GPU
      4. More RAM and more ROM
      5. A better camera with LED flash

      It would be nice to have a keyboard version. The great thing about Android is that there probably will be something for everyone.

  • iSunday

    If this device has s-amoled, a front facing cam and vanilla android, it would be a great upgrade to my Captivate. Won’t be upgrading until those stars align or a device with comparable hardware from HTC or Moto is released.

  • http://Website Mike

    Honestly they should focus more on putting out updates for current phones right away if they are trying to put out new product with the dual core processors. Sucks that samsung is really slow on ota software updates!

  • Droidberg

    awesomesauce! .. i really want a tablet now though lol.. can anyone recommend one? i was thinking about the archos..
    but either way i will be looking more into the tegra 2 tabs.. i just hope overall they can not only perform good but look good and have good support (company wise)..

  • http://Website darcy

    any news about HTC? still using qualcomm’s or no?

    • http://Website Nate

      Yep, read the last sentence ;)

  • http://Website Nate

    My next device will most likely be a HTC (again). Simply because they make the best software (compare (the new) Sense with MotoBlur and TouchWiz) and the updates don´t take long.

    But I would love to know when Qualcomm will release their Dual-Core CPU´s with an Adreno 220.

    But exspecially I hope for another Nexus device sonn, this time made by HTC again :-)

  • http://Website darcy

    anyone knows the Arm Holdings?
    they designed Cortex processors?
    what is their role in this smartphone war
    on their website they claimed that they designed UIs for some of HTC phones (HTC sense is designed by them?)

  • http://Website Lucian Armasu

    Samsung should use Tegra 2 for phones and tablets. HTC, too. I’m sure Orion will be better than Tegra 2, but I think Tegra 3 will be even more impressive, and most likely coming out just a few months after Orion is in products. Specs on the paper are nice, but what matter is how optimized the code is for the hardware. Nvidia is VERY good at optimizing the drivers for the hardware. I dont think anyone else in the mobile market is as good yet. Definitely not Qualcomm with their Adreno GPU’s, which although had much better “specs” than PowerVR SGX 530 in iPhone 3G, it still failed to show it’s better than that chip.

    Plus, let’s not forget that Honeycomb is optimized for Tegra 2. So is the Unreal 3 engine. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Tegra 2 will have the best battery life/performance out of all the dual core chips. So why wouldn’t I want a Tegra 2/3 chip in phones and tablet?

    • chris0101

      Any idea when the tegra 3 is coming onto a phone?

      The way that Jen-Hsun Huang pitched it, there would be a tegra each year, but if you’ve got other information, please disclose.

      Agree though that optimizations are important. I think that the current version of Android is optimized for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform. If it is optimized for the Tegra platform, I can imagine the Tegra platform becoming a mainstay in Android.