ARM-based Microsoft Surface tablet will have a Tegra processor, NVIDIA confirms

ARM-based Microsoft Surface tablet will have a Tegra processor, NVIDIA confirms
While we learned quite a lot about the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablets, there were still plenty of questions that remained unanswered after the official announcement was over. One of them was what processor the Windows RT model will come with. All that was mentioned was that an ARM chip of some kind will tick under the tablet's hood.

However, NVIDIA was quick to acknowledge that the Windows RT Microsoft Surface tablet will sport a Tegra processor. Exactly which processor will be used is still unclear, but the quad-core Tegra 3 is the first that comes to mind. One possibility is that the chip will be implemented using the NVIDIA KAI platform, which promises fluid performance at a competitive price point. Having a Tegra 3+ setup in the ARM-based Microsoft Surface tablet does not seem impossible either, although we are not quite sure whether this platform would be a good match for the device. 

At the end of the day, the NVIDIA Tegra 3 is a pretty capable piece of silicon and we hope it will handle Windows RT without breaking a sweat. If priced right, the ARM Microsoft Surface tablet could prove a worthy alternative to top-of-the-line Android slates.

source: NVIDIA via SlashGear

Related phones

Surface RT
  • Display 10.6" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB



1. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Hope that it is the kai. And I will buy it.

2. aaronkatrini

Posts: 242; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

Microsoft doin' things right ;)

3. AbhiD

Posts: 880; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

A Big Letdown!!!... considering that the INTEL version will be equipped with a hell of a powerful IVY BRIDGE processor. tegra 3 has grown old..., they should have used better processor especially when this tab will be really pricey compared to the android one's and iPAD

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ok, then tell me.. what processor should they have used? The S4 which has major supply issues? The only other processor would be the Samsung Exynos, which samsung is going to use for themselves first. The INTEL version is a full PC version, the arm based versions are "lite use" versions.. aka, on the same level as android/iOS. the intel and arm versions are very different beasts.

11. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

You forget the Intel version is running the full-on DESKTOP version of Windows8, whereas the RT version is equivalent to "Windows 8 Lite" and are therefore not comparable (might as well compare ios to mac osx), so a Tegra chip on any of the recent platforms would perform above acceptable levels.

4. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Here comes a hater thumbing down every comment. Come at me bro.

5. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Man, I don't want the RT version. If I had to get the RT, I'd rather have the T-Pad Infinity with the Tegra. And the Pro version is too big. Gyyaahhh.

6. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

everyone complains about Price which fair but why everyone fogets its MS but it is the first true Tablet according to the specs and features. since Ipads android tabs are limited to mobile kind of use where we can only do music/pics/games/and other light stuff but wht is the quad core for certianly not these small things thats where MS is proving them lame if it can run all windows softwares that we run on windows xp/7 not just small apps this sure is sweet roll.

9. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

I guess everyone is forgetting that the surface will offer a full windows 8/desktop experience and can replace your ultrabooks as it comes with keyboard and usb 3.0 ports. its practically a true laptop replacement and not limited to a mobile os like ipad and android tablets

12. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

You are partially correct: This isn't the first tablet, it's the first tablet that was designed from the ground up to run a desktop OS. Prior tablets (pre-ipad) were running Windows CE or stripped versions on the NT platform, and the interface had to be crammed onto it to make it work, or, as you stated, were based on mobile systems and suffered greatly in capability for it.

14. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The thing is.. as cool as this tablet will be.. if it's the same cost as an ultrabook.. why would I not just go with that? I was hoping to see this come in a bit cheaper than the ultrabooks.. I don't see them outright replacing ultrabooks. Working on a 10.3" screan cannot be a pleasurable experience.

7. Suts_97

Posts: 130; Member since: May 05, 2012

Tegra 3 may not be up to IvyBridge processors, but it is good enough to be competitive with other ARM based processors and would be cost efficient!

8. AbhiD

Posts: 880; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

you know what's cost efficient ??? a google nexus slate which will cost $150- $200 with a tegra 3 processor under the hood...

13. ph00ny

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 26, 2011

Hopefully it's a heavily modified tegra3. Unlike the smartphone platform, memory bandwidth probably matters much more in a real OS

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless