Tegra 2 could be the reference platform for Android 3.0 tablets


— 6:00 AM on December 20, 2010

Last week's reports of broader design wins for Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor might have been just the tip of the iceberg. A story by Barron's Tech Trader Daily suggests Google chose Tegra 2 to power its Android 3.0 reference platform. Also known as Honeycomb, Android 3.0 will likely end up driving most iPad competitors next year. So, you know, this is kind of a big deal.

In case you're wondering, Barron's based its story on statements by Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung. Here's the meaty part:

Yeung notes Tegra is the "reference design" for Google's (GOOG) "Honeycomb" version of the Android operating system — the version that is meant to be modified to more properly support tablet computers. While delays in Honeycomb mean that there may not be as much of a tablet show for Nvidia at the CES convention in January in Las Vegas, nevertheless, Yeung expects Nvidia to have a good year in tablets.

Incidentally, Yeung revealed that Samsung has ordered $250-350 million worth of Tegra chips for the first half of 2011. (The chips will reportedly power both smartphones and tablets.) $250-350 million would be a pretty good chunk of change for Nvidia, which posted revenue of just over $800 million for its last fiscal quarter. I'm getting the feeling that champagne corks are popping throughout Nvidia's campus. (Thanks to Engadget for the link.)

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