Feb 7th, 2013

The Nexus 7 was Google’s first Nexus device with NVIDIA’s Tegra chipset, but it looks like the next generation of the 7-inch tablet could be ditching Tegra 4. According to Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell, Google is likely to request Qualcomm’s services for the next generation of the Nexus 7.

Specifically, he believes the next small Nexus tablet will house Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, or a close variation of it. The same chipset was featured in the elusive Nexus 4, and has proven to be a very smooth fitting for that particular device. Like Tegra 3, Tegra 4 is a 4+1 chipset, except it’s based on ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 architecture and is supposed to bring us massive gains in performance.

Google’s reasoning for possibly wanting S4 Pro is unclear, but the biggest reasons appear to be cost (Qualcomm seems to be cheaper) and “a decision to single-source the application processor and 3G/4G modem to simplify logistics and create a fully pin-compatible platform interface.”

Whatever the reason may be, we can’t say we’d be disappointed either way. 2013’s crop of chipsets all seem fantastic in their own ways, and we’re just excited to know that Google might soon be ready to introduce a new Nexus 7 at all. We may not see it at Google I/O, and we may not even see it before the the fall, but if something is coming then we’re fine with whichever route Google chooses to go.

[Barron’s via Unwired View]

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