The year 2014 should be the year of 4GB of RAM inside high-end mobile devices, and it’s not by coincidence that we’re also going to see the first 64-bit chips to support that much memory this year. Nvidia has apparently made a new Tegra Note 7 reference tablet that comes with the new Tegra K1 processor, a 1920×1200 resolution display, and 4GB of RAM.
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Now, you may ask, doesn’t Tegra K1 come with a 32-bit Cortex A15 processor? Yes, it does. But Cortex A15 can actually support 4GB or more memory, since it can have a 40-bit extension, which is probably what Nvidia is doing here. When the second version of K1 (the one with the 64-bit Denver CPU) will arrive, it’s going to be able to support 4GB of RAM by default, with no extensions, and Nvidia has already said it will be a drop-in replacement for the current version. Hopefully the move to 4GB of RAM for high-end devices will also force more OEMs to want to switch to 64-bit CPUs as fast as possible.
It’s good to see that Nvidia finally increased the resolution of its tablet to 1920×1200, but I would’ve liked to see a larger tablet, too. I think Nvidia’s DirectTouch technology is very promising and offers good competition to tablets with Wacom pens, especially if they arrive at lower prices. However, Samsung has just released a 12.2″ Galaxy Note Pro tablet, and if not Nvidia themselves, then at least their partners should be offering similar models that come with the Tegra K1 chip, and with DirectTouch technology. Some 8″-8.5″ options would definitely be welcome, too, for people who want to use the stylus with the tablet in one hand, mainly for writing stuff on it.
Qualcomm has recently presented its own ultrasound-based stylus technology, so Nvidia needs to try to establish its own technology faster into the market, in more than one tablet model. Thanks to such in-chip technologies that help to make handwriting and drawing very accurate on tablets, I think we’re going to see a lot more tablets come with this type of support in the future, which can’t hurt. With most, if not all tablets supporting proper handwriting, we may finally be able to get rid of paper documents and signing on paper, too, which is just one of many applications for tablets that have proper handwriting.