For the last two days, I’ve written about the ramifications of the IHS iSuppli report on ARM processor penetration into the PC market. (See “IHS iSuppli predicts that ARM CPUs will grab nearly 25% of the PC market by the year 2015. Believe it?” and “Is the 1-chip PC looming in the future?”) I didn’t imagine the predicted skirmish would become so visible, so soon, but Lenovo just introduced three new tablets that perfectly encapsulate the coming battles. Lenovo today announced its first family of tablets – the IdeaPad Tablet K1 for consumers, the ThinkPad Tablet for business customers, and the IdeaPad Tablet P1 for home and office use. The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 and ThinkPad Tablets feature the Android 3.1 OS platform (and the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is the industry’s first Android-powered tablet certified to deliver Netflix video streaming). The IdeaPad Tablet P1 runs the Microsoft Windows 7 OS.
Both of the Lenovo Android tablets are based on Tegra 2 chips from NVIDIA. The Tegra 2 SoC sports two 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processors and an NVIDIA-developed GeForce GPU (graphics processing unit). The Tegra 2 SoC also supports 1080p HD video playback. The two Android-powered Lenovo tablets plug into the Android Market with more than 250,000 apps. Lenovo is also developing its own Lenovo App Shop.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Tablet P1 (to be available this fall) runs Microsoft Windows 7 on a 1.5GHz Intel x86 processor. The IdeaPad Tablet P1 features a multitouch touchscreen display with optional stylus pen. It’s 14.5mm thick and weighs less than 2lbs.
Here within one company’s announcement you can already see the battle between processor architectures shaping up. Part of this battle will certainly hone the underlying SoCs and the SoC Realization and Silicon Realization teams that create those chips.
A big tip of the hat to my good friend David Thon for the lead.