updated 06:20 pm EDT, Tue June 1, 2010
NV sees Android as tablet rallying point
NVIDIA chief Jen-Sun Huang today hinted that Android would be adapted for tablets. Google's platform was designed for smartphones at first, but the OS developer is said to be aware of the needs of a tablet and to be changing Android to suit its needs. What those changes would involve weren't mentioned, but they would unite with the hardware in the fall.
"It's not lost on [Google] that the tablet is going to be very important and that the Android operating system has to evolve, and be enhanced in certain capabilities, in order to be a good tablet operating system," Huang explained to PCWorld.
The graphics pioneer further envisioned Android as a rallying point for tablet makers, as it was a common OS they could all use. It also had momentum as it was supposedly growing faster than the iPhone platform, although it ultimately trails worldwide. Windows was ruled out entirely as it was "too big and too full featured" for tablets, where simplicity is key.
The NVIDIA leader appropriately thought graphics performance was important and that speed would be necessary to keep up with the iPad. Apple's device has so far kept Intel tablets at bay through its support for 720p video and other advanced graphics, but NVIDIA is counting on its dual-core, 1080p-capable Tegra 2 to outperform Apple's hardware as it's known today.
While potentially better, the new Tegra has been set back substantially by seeming delays that have put the tablets' release dates in the fall. It has also had little in the way of major supporters, as most are startups or smaller companies like ICD and Notion Ink.