Android tablets powered by NVIDIA’s upcoming quad-core processor, the Tegra 3 (codenamed “Kal-El”), may start becoming available before 2011 is over.

NVIDIA chief Jen-Hsun Huang told Forbes that the quad-core Android tablets may come this year, ahead of the quad-core smartphones that NVIDIA predicted earlier to reach markets this year.

The Tegra 3 SoC is supposed to be at least 200% faster

NVIDIA hopes to stay ahead of chief rival Qualcomm. The latter is reported to be releasing its own quad-core processors towards the end of the year.

Both NVIDIA and Qualcomm have been mainstays in the market for high-end smartphone processors. Qualcomm has been in the mobile technology game for years and has earned respect for its experience and expertise. NVIDIA, on the other hand, prides in sophisticated technology imported from its graphics processing unit (GPU) business, which pushed the company to the forefront in the industry.

“We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm. We’re really the only two active players [in the high-end mobile processor market],” Huang told Forbes.

Earlier this year, Motorola was rumored to have been busy in its labs with a Motorola XOOM successor packed with Tegra 3. The quad-core tablet was rumored to be launched this fall.

Amazon’s 10.1-inch tablet, codenamed “Hollywood,” was also rumored to sport Kal-El and is reportedly already in production along with a smaller, 7-inch tablet, which will be named the Amazon Kindle. The smaller tablet was rumored earlier to sport a Tegra 2 processor. Recent reports suggest the Amazon Kindle will be coming out this November.

No leaks have emerged regarding the highly anticipated Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2, but it is said to be slimmer and with a more industrial design

ASUS has also been reportedly preparing a Tegra-3-packed successor to the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, a 10.1-inch tablet rumored to be the first one to carry the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3.

The quad-cores are coming for Android tablets. For the meantime, Android smartphones will continue to compete with one another in the single-core and dual-core spaces.

Will a quad-core processor make you want to buy an Android tablet?

  • james woodhouse

    I hope they turn up soon, as I’ve been holding off on investing in a dual core tab I know will be relatively obsolete in less than a year. Having to walk away from a transformer every time I visit Curry’s is just getting painful now.

    Nexus Prime + Transformer 2 + ICS will be a worthwhile dent in my wallet.

    • M.

      Yeah but what a sexy, powerful apple-kicking dent that will be

  • jivdis1x

    in the market for a transformer. With is news, going to hold off.

  • juan lopez

    I really like the idea of a tegra 3 to come to market, but I am still waiting for developers to adopt the tegra 2 .
    I love the fact that my cell phone or my tablet have this richly powerful processor, and lets not forget to mention the amazing graphics and power savings these beauties have.
    even though as consumers we don’t see them (blame rich media and powering your screen). Again and Again all i see is a manufacturer trying to out do the other in the name of Sales.
    I want to see my current phone and tablet that are less then 6 months old have software that happily lives with the current gpu and kernel before i jump all over a new electronic investment.
    I would like to see the full potencial of the current mobile processor. seeing the personal computer industry turned upside down by mobile tech becoming the next wave of smart computing is just amazing.
    All i ask is learn from the past tech players adopting new technology and never fullfilling it. That does not give a consumer any confidence.
    Early adopters happily knowing vested hard earned money hope and time .
    Please make this current generation processor show its rough beauty first, and then move on.,

    • Jon Garrett

      don’t worry, they’ll catch on. raw processing power is not something they’d want to ignore for long. I only hope its done for Android before apple does it.

  • Anonymous

    “Will a quad-core processor make you want to buy an Android tablet?”

    In a word, YES! It’s all that I’m waiting for at the moment. The first manufacturer to release a quad core processor surrounded by some decent hardware and a nice screen will get my money!

  • Samurninsai

    No I don’t think it is as much quad-core cpu as it is Nvidia’s The way it is ment to be played, but that is just me. I like the idea of using laptop software on a tablet too though so a quad-core would be super cool….. 3D software like blender and “molehill” plus sketchpad will be the biggest thing for me! I am looking forward to seeing something truely awesome.

  • myfutopia

    i am also awaiting the first tablet to the hit the market with a tegra 3, i really want to get one by christmas, it will surprise me if these companies dont push to get it out by the holidays. i have spent much time trying to get some concrete release dates for xoom 2 or transformer 2 but with no luck, does anyone know for sure if either one will be out by christmas?

  • Issith

    Yes, yes it will make me buy one.

    I ‘m waiting on Asus to Upgrade their Eee pad slider with Tegra 3