Apple, Companies, Hardware

Google to Launch the New Nexus 10 Tablet at MWC 2013? Quad-Core, GPGPU Inside

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or at least that’s how the saying goes. In the case of recently held International CES show, breakfasts, lunches and dinners are great ways to discuss business deals and see what’s new in store for 2013.

One such meal had an interesting guest, which is currently being primed for production. The guest in question is the second generation Nexus 10 tablet from Google. Our partners were discussing the feedback Google received after releasing their first 10" tablet equipped with the monstrous 2560×1600 resolution. This is higher than the iPad 3 and 4, with the distinct difference of not upscaling any content, which proved to be a design hurdle for Google.

Apparently, while the screen was amazing and received a lot of positive feedback from partners and end users, the tablet encountered a significant performance gap. Even though Samsung did their best with the Exynos 5 chip which featured two Cortex-A15 cores and a Mali T604-Class GPU, the general feeling was that the tablet was a bit underpowered.

Solving the GPU bottleneck - Nexus 10 2 prototype we saw came with an 8-core ARM Mali-T678 GPU

Solving the GPU bottleneck – Nexus 10 2 prototype we saw came with an 8-core ARM Mali-T678 GPU

The 4 million pixel, 300ppi resolution would suffice to choke even the best mobile can offer. According to the people we spoke with, the new Nexus 10 addresses that with a significant increase in "digital horsepower", moving from a dual-core to a multi-core design, with the T604 GPU core being replaced with an 8-core T628 GPU. If our sources hold true, the Nexus 10 refresh might be the first design out the door packing the Mali T678 GPGPU chip. This chip supports from a single to an 8-core design with all the bells and whistles one might come to expect from a desktop 2013 GPU.

2GB of system memory will remain, as Google sees this part as the ideal part to take on the Apple iPad 4 and 5. Physically, the T678 is identical to T628, with ARM gunning for the tablet market with the former, and smartphone market with the latter. The main difference is the clock speed. Feature-wise, T678 in the New Google Nexus 10 tablet will support OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0 and most importantly, Google’s Renderscript Compute.

Google Nexus 10 in its second generation will probably be the most powerful tablet on the market
In its second generation, Google’s Nexus 10 will probably be the most powerful tablet on the market

While we believe we saw a prototype design in an old chassis (it was identical to the currently selling Nexus 10), the performance difference in popular benchmarks was night and day. The final design of the part (Google currently does not have final versions of the chassis) should address the shortcomings of the original design, even though we were told that the company was satisfied with the original design. They did agree that the design lacked a bit of "wow factor", but that will probably wait for the third generation.

Google’s pricing strategy will likely remain the same, which is to offer the best value electronics and hit price points industry big guns typically shy away from. If you already own a device such as the original Nexus 10 or Nexus 7, you will probably want to upgrade at the time, and for that a good way to sell your old device could be with used products trading websites such as eBay or Amazon, in order to make some cash for the latest technology. Another way to earn some cash is with musicMagpie, which typically accept CDs, Blu-rays, DVDs, and games, for cash. Ultimately, we might end up with an annual refresh cycle, which only spells good news to deal hunters.

The earliest introduction of Google Nexus 10 is expected at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, with the realistic availability being Back 2 School period. We don’t know of pricing yet but it’ll likely hover around the same price as the original, if not a bit higher.