Amazon shook the consumer electronics market last year when it introduced the first sub-$200 tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire. Many were skeptical of the online vendor’s foray into electronics, but some saw it as a stroke of genius. By leveraging its vast library of online titles, Amazon set itself up to compete on content with industry leader Apple.
The Kindle Fire was an instant hit by combining Amazon’s library of e-books, music and movies with one of the lowest tablet price points featured quality technology. In the fourth quarter of 2011, IDC reported over 6 million units of the Kindle Fire were sold, making Amazon the No. 2 tablet maker with 16.8 percent of the overall market.
Hence, it was strange then that few companies tried to replicate Amazon’s model. Tablet manufacturers are still trying to compete with Apple, releasing products with specifications close to or better than the iPad. The result has been that few tablets under $400.
Perhaps only one company, Google, possesses the resources and the content to offer a tablet capable of taking on the Kindle Fire.
The first Google-branded handset, the Google Nexus One, was manufactured by HTC and was the first to be sold directly by Google to consumers. It served as the template for other Google devices like the Nexus S, the Nexus ONE and the Galaxy Nexus. With each product, Google partnered with an established device manufacturer, focusing its own efforts on the user-interface and optimizing its Android operating system for a particular device.
Google finally introduced its first branded tablet, Nexus 7, at its I/O conference last week (June 27) with a price tag of $199, meaning it will compete directly with the Kindle Fire. The Android OS, particularly Honeycomb, had long been used by iPad competitors. The Nexus 7 tablet also included the latest version of Android, 4.1, or Jelly Bean.
Like Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 offers specifications comparable to other tablets while also taking advantage of the rich library of applications that were available through Google’s Android Market. Featuring a 7-inch display, Nexus 7 also uses Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor while also sporting 1 GB of internal RAM and the option of up to 16 Gb of storage.
Since the Tegra 3 processor’s first design win inside the ASUS Transformer Prime, it has been steadily grabbing more socket wins. According to our IRIS database, Tegra 3 has at least five design wins, including a major win in the new Microsoft Surface tablet.
The 1.3-GHz, low power SoC was the first mobile applications processor to incorporate four cores each in the CPU and GPU. The Tegra 3 features "Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing" that uses a single low power core for tasks requiring less power consumption.
Front side view of the Nexus 7 communications board (click on image to enlarge).
a belated thx. from your photos it appears that the 4 Hynix DDR 3L chips are on both the front and back of the motherboard - 2 a side. Unlike PoP config they are not on the SoC but offset from them as in the iPad3. Like the A5x the Tegra 3 too seems to require a Heat Sink - the consequences of cramming too many Graphics cores with a 45 nm, non HKMG process perhaps ?
It is a very good piece of hardware, since Google is not revenue centric from hardware, it would be better if they had kept this an open source hardware so that it can be better replicated thought the world.
Good question for this article.
Battery management is big challenge for smartphone or tablet.
My Samsung Galaxy-R can only last for about 5-6 hours if I listening musics,watching moives and using google maps for navigation.
is that $184 BOM estimate based on a 1000 pcs or more BTW ?
its still very good for a £159 for 8GB and £199 for the 16GB version in the UK price, released in retail just as the 2012 Olympics start there.
not to forget there's all that new free Virgin media cable/ wireless underground connectivity now put in place ready for the massive games visitors there too so no problem getting any web content and streaming etc you please with it.
even if the UK goggle shop content isn't great right now as the content providers don't seem to want to take your 2012 Olympics games money and actually pay for their online content there.
oh well the end users will be happy anyway a quad core and you can provide your own content, cant stop the net.
putting a LPDDR2 PoP version on there rather than the better DDR3 would have slowed down the data throughput would it not, so im glad they went DDR3 its still a single channel right ? and so not perfect for gaining extra free speed, at least until the real Wide IO ram makes an appearance.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.