Nvidia’s Kai Brings Hope for $199 Quad-Core Tablets

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Nvidia has a plan to make cheap Android tablets a lot more powerful. The company will launch a platform this year called “Kai” that will let device makers bring quad-core tablets to market for $199.

Nvidia Vice President Rob Csonger revealed the plan at an investor meeting last week, as spotted by The Verge.

The platform will be based on Nvidia’s Tegra 3 system on a chip, which currently appears in several high-end Android phones and tablets:

So this uses a lot of the secret sauce that’s inside Tegra 3 to allow you to develop a tablet at a much lower cost, by using a lot of innovation that we’ve developed to reduce the power that’s used by the display and use lower cost components within the tablet.

Jared Newman / TIME.com

Though we haven’t seen any specific tablet announcements yet, Nvidia and Asus did announce plans for the Tegra 3-based, 7-inch Asus MeMo 370T in January. According to rumors, Asus has since scrapped the product and is working directly with Google on a “Nexus” tablet, which may or may not have the quad-core processor.

But as The Verge points out, the image Nvidia used to show off Kai (above) looks just like Asus’ mockup for the MeMo (pictured to the left).

Regardless of what happens with the MeMo 370T, Nvidia’s announcement gives hope that low-cost, quad-core Android tablets are on the way.