More rumors suggest next-gen Nexus 7 will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor


It’s a rumor that’s been floating around for awhile now and it looks like it’s rearing its head yet again. The always hit-or-miss Digitimes is now reporting from “sources in the supply chain” that ASUS could be turning to Qualcomm for the next iteration of the Google Nexus 7, instead of NVIDIA (who was responsible for the Tegra CPU found in current gen 7’s). Yeah, we’ve heard that part already — but why?

It seems it could have less to do with saving money and more to do with the upcoming Nexus 7’s LTE/voice capabilities. Apparently Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is just more LTE friendly than the Tegra 3 (something we’ve known about for sometime). So, why not the Tegra 4 which has embedded LTE functionality? Apparently, NVIDIA wasn’t able to supply their Tegra 4 CPU’s in time for the next-gen Nexus 7’s launch in May (to be announced at Google I/O). The part that really stinks is NVIDIA could be missing out on upwards of 8 million CPU shipments in 2013 because of this change, a move that NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun is no doubt unhappy about.

All this talk of a SIM equipped Nexus 7 makes perfect sense too given the recently announced ASUS FonePad with similar functionality. I’ll just keep crossing my fingers for an upgraded 1080p display.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Please come to VZW… I know it’s unlikely, but please. I would give my left testicle for that.

    1. While I’ll NEVER give up a testicle for anything involving Verizon, I will admit that it’s a nice dream you have.

      1. I’ll gladly give the left one. Just never the right. It’s special.

        1. I’m at a loss of words lol

          1. And I’d be at a loss of testicles if this goes through.

        2. for sentimental reasons?

      2. Sounds like my worst nightmare but to each his own I guess

    2. Well if this is going to sport an unlocked LTE modem it’s possible and I’d even say likely. Since LTE is a SIM-based technology, they could make it LTE only and keep Verizon from muddling with the updates. Plus, Verizon’s (and AT&T’s for that matter) shared data plans make it easy to add an unlocked tablet. It makes even more sense since Verizon may be ready by the end of the year to sell LTE only phones. You buy the device from the Play Store unlocked and Verizon just coughs up the SIM. You really could finally get the best of Nexus and the best of Verizon at the same time.

    3. Testis > Consumer Electronic Devices.

  2. If they couldn’t use the Nvidia Tegra 4 then they should use the Snapdragon 600 instead of S4 pro!

    1. Why? The S4 is a perfectly serviceable CPU, and with the 600 and 800 en route, the price is bound to come down.

      I’d rather see Google release an improved Nexus 7 with 3G/LTE support at a close price point as the current N7 than a $100 price bump to boost the CPU.

      Save the Snapdragon 800 for a Nexus 10 refresh in the fall. ;)

      1. Absolutely agree. It’s still a top tier device, even if it’s on the lower end. The price point while maintaining amazing specs, albeit not cutting edge, is what makes this the best value in the tablet market.

  3. If you could just add SD capability, that would be great

    1. The one thing missing (for me at least) in all Nexus devices. I really would love to use a Nexus 7 as a media hub in my truck but the lack of microSD slot kills it.

      1. If you wanted it so badly in your truck, you could have just used a rooted version with USB host functionality. And in the car there’s much more options to allocate an USB plug nicely.
        I understand people not wanting to hold the tablet in hands with an OTG cable dangling around, but a car is totally different thing.

  4. I just need HDMI out

  5. If I could use this on my current Verizon plan, I’d be tempted to just replace my Galaxy Nexus with this, since I hardly ever make phone calls anymore.

    1. I think the time for a Verizon Nexus (or rather this time a suite of Verizon Nexi) is once again upon us, but this time it’s not a cop out like the last one. With Verizon ready to transition to LTE only phones by the end of this year, Google could easily sell unlocked GSM/HSPA+/LTE Nexi that are compatible with T-Mobile’s, AT&T’s, and Verizon’s networks. Then you just bring your GSM/LTE or LTE only SIM from your preferred carrier.

      The problem with a Verizon Nexus has been that the CDMA chip meant that Verizon had to OK every update. No CDMA, no Verizon controlled updates. All Verizon would be providing would be theLTE SIM card and the service. Updates, returns, and the device warranty would all be covered by Google.

  6. Don’t sound to disapointed, we live in America so you should learn to love our scalely SOC overlord!

    Just look at the American One X, GSIII, and GSIV; plus, all models of the LG Optimus G, HTC One, and Nexus 4. They all carry the Snapdragon. Thankfully, I learned to love the Snapdragon a while ago. Once you go dragon, your phone will never get a-laggin’!

    1. The US GSIII and LG Optimus G both had snapdragons because US carriers demanded LTE integrated chips(which only the snapdragon series had going at the time), with the Nexus 4 obviously piggy backing off the Optimus G. I think the most recent exynos chipset has integrated LTE but not compatible with some markets(such as US and Canada).

      I’d imagine the US HTC One is in a similar situation, limited choice on compatible LTE integrated chips.

      1. That makes sense, since being in the right place at the right time is part of what sucess is.

      2. Yeah. Qualcomm is absolutely loving this.

  7. I use an otg adapter and trust me no more need for sd capability, i’m in love with my N7,
    I can watch movies listen to music without fulling my memory.
    (please i’m not english speaker, so in case of translation error correct me)

  8. I wonder is a wifi only version of the tablet might stick with the tegra?

    1. That wouldn’t make sense from a software perspective. Even if performance wise it might be a wiser move, you want to keep all models on the same chipset so that development across them is easier. Since an LTE modem seems like it’s going to be a main draw for the refreshed Nexus 7 it makes more sense to center around that and just use a wifi version of the same chipset.

  9. The tegra 3 was a buggy mess nothing was fluid and things would take a while to load sometimes. Snapdragon is the way to go until nvida can figure it out. Hopefully the tegra 4 is that chip.

    1. You have to keep in mind how new Nvidia is to the chip business. It’s going to take some time for them to reach performance parity with a veteran like Qualcomm, but I think they’ll get there. I think they have stronger branding. Nvidia really needs to lock up a big deal like the Kindle Fire.

      Getting the design win on the Nexus 7 was good, but it was still not as popular as the Kindle Fires. I think it would be good for Nvidia and Amazon. Nvidia gets the huge endorsement from Amazon and the revenue boost and Amazon gets the performance and gaming image of Tegra 4 and better game support (not suggesting it’s actually the best performer, just that it has a stronger image and more optimized games).

      The big deal with signing a contract like that is that it would give the revenue to further develop and stabilize the platform. While Tegra has no doubt been a great move for Nvidia, the only big splash they’ve made has been on Android tablets and we all know those haven’t sold the best. And Nvidia isn’t on the number one selling series of Android tablets.

  10. Don’t care about the nexus 7.2. Being us the damn Nexus X!!!!

    1. there is no nexus x. it’s the Motorola x… Google is just putting in the software and letting Motorola fiddle with it

  11. Too bad if that’s the case. I was planning on buying one if it had Tegra 4. I guess I will have to stick with my aging laptop until they can get a Nexus tablet with a Tegra 4.

  12. why not its cheaper to mass produce and since the Nexus 4 is already using the snapdragon, it only makes sense to source from one manufacturer, no need to change much on hardware specs in this case, even drivers can be repurposed. I assume the next nexus phone will use the same snapdragon.

  13. Yeah, I hate Nvidia, poor driver and community support. As well they always seem to crash more than Qualcomm stuff.

  14. Nvidia really needs a design win on the Kindle Fire now that TI is out of the game. I really thought they were going to get it last year but Amazon stuck with TI. Now that TI is getting out of the business though I would think it’s between Nvidia and Qualcomm unless Samsung plans on making a play for it (it would help them future-proof against Apple switching vendors). I think Tegra makes more sense in tablets and Snapdragon makes more sense in phones. If Nvidia could lock up a deal with Amazon that would bring a lot of revenue and recognition to them.

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