'Ice Cream Sandwich' Devices Coming with Tegra 3: Nvidia

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed his company is building Tegra 3 quad-core processors for new Nexus tablets or smartphones.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed the chipmaker he leads is building Tegra 3 quad-core processors for devices based on Google's forthcoming Android operating system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich.

Prompted by a financial analyst on Nvidia's first quarter earnings call May 12, Huang said Nvidia is working closely with Google on "Ice Cream Sandwich."

"We're really excited about the work that they're doing on Ice Cream. And I can't comment too much more other than that, but we're working very closely with their teams on the 'Ice Cream Sandwich.' And as all of these products -- they will come to the market when they're great, and I'm certainly expecting them to be great this year."

"Ice Cream Sandwich" is designed to curb the fragmentation issues that have plagued Android since Google forked the platform with its tablet-optimized build. The build will include features from the company's Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" build for tablets to smartphones.

"We're taking all the good stuff that we added to 'Honeycomb' for tablets, and we'll make it available everywhere," Google Android engineer Mike Cleron said at Google I/O May 10.

"On phones, on tablets and everything in between. This includes the new holographic UI, the new launcher, the new multitasking UI, richer widgets, advanced applications, everything."

Some short math leads to some interesting conclusions. First, Cleron said "Ice Cream Sandwich" would be available later this year.

Second, Google's Android creator Andy Rubin indicated the public can expect another Nexus device later this year. "The cycles are holidays and the summer time," Rubin said in a Q&A session with reporters after the keynote May 10.

Consider that the Samsung Nexus S was Google's test flight of its Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" OS when it launched last December. That was the holiday 2010 device. Further consider Sprint just launched the Samsung Nexus S 4G last week.

With "Ice Cream Sandwich" and a new Nexus coming later this year, the logic dictates that the next Nexus will run "Ice Cream Sandwich."

Now for the big, unanswered question: will the new Nexus device be a smartphone, per tradition, or a tablet?

There have been rumors that Toshiba's tablet will actually be the rumored Nexus tablet. Others suggest there will be a Nexus 3D smartphone.

Whether it's a tablet or smartphone, the device should be blazing fast, powered by Tegra 3 quad-core silicon and 4G networks that agree to run it.