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2013-05-23 Eken GT70X 2012-11-21 Ainol Novo 7 Legend 2012-11-08 Ainol Novo 7 Dream 2012-11-07 Ainol Novo 7 Venus 2012-10-11 Ainol Novo 7 Crystal 2012-10-08 Eken W80 2012-08-29 Eken W70 2012-08-20 Ainol Novo 7 Fire 2012-04-25 Ainol Novo 7 Aurora 2 2012-04-17 Ramos W13 PRO - Ramos W22 PRO - Ramos W17 PRO - Ramos W19 V2 2012-04-13 Ainol Novo 7 Elf 2 - Bmorn V15 3G - Dropad A10 Butterfly - Hyundai A7HD 2012-04-12 Ainol Novo 7 Tornado 2012-04-04 ICOO D80SmartQ T20 2012-03-31 Toshiba AT270 - ZTE PF100 - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Hasee R10 - Storage Options 53715 Excel - NATPC M009S mk2 - Tabtronic M009S mk2 - YeahPad AM8 - ZTPAD C91 - NATPC M009S 2012-03-27 Aoson M19
Android Tablet Chipsets

Whilst Android can run on many architectures, virtually all tablets use a chipset based on the ARM architecture, as developed by ARM Holdings from 1987 onwards. There have been successive generations of ARM chips, with the earliest relevant for tablets being the ARM7, and the most recent being the Cortex A9. ARM core chips have become more powerful over succesive generations.

So, in order from least powerful to most powerful (note that non-ARM chipsets are now included):

ARM7 >> ARM9 >> ARM11 >> MIPS >> ARM Cortex A8 >> Qualcomm Snapdragon >> ARM Cortex A9

Click on the chipset names above to see all tablets based on the chipset.

Manufacturers usually build chipsets based on an ARM core with additional components. For instance, the popular NVIDIA Tegra 250 (often referred to as Tegra 2) is actually an ARM Cortex A9 core with added NVIDIA Geforce graphics chip. The next ARM core to be released is the ARM Cortex A15. Devices based on this core are not expected to hit the market until early 2013.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset stands out from the rest because the core is Qualcomm's own and not 100% based on ARM (although it is similar to the Cortex A8). Snapdragon chips exist of vastly different levels of performance, from on par with the ARM11 up to and beyond the Cortex A9. In late 2011 Qualcomm re-categorised all their chips to clarify the performance differences. All Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are now categorised according to a scale of S1 to S4, with S4 being the most powerful. We now list the Snapdragon chipset seperately in the index.

In late 2011 a new type of chipset appeared. The Ingenic Xburst JZ4770 as used in the Ainol Novo Paladin uses a MIPS core and is a complete deviation from ARM. The MIPS architecture has been around since 1981 and has been used in a wide variety of systems including set top boxes, supercomputers, and the PS2. It's implentation in a SoC is a direct challenge to ARM's dominance. It is cheaper to licence MIPS cores than ARM. In practical terms, at time of writing in Jan 2012, the MIPS chipset has some compatibility problems in Android meaning that some Apps won't run. This situation should improve over time.

Just before Christmas 2011 a new chipset appeared that has revolutionised the Chinese tablet market. The Allwinner A10 is both very cheap for manufacturers to buy and very powerful. It intergrates a fast Mali400 GPU and provides outstanding performance for general use, video, and 3D. There is a lot of misinformation about this chipset on the web but the truth is that it is a Cortex A8 ARM core that can be clocked in software at anything from 1 to 1.5Ghz. Different manufacturers give it different clock speed ratings but as far as we are concerned all Allwinner A10s run at the same speed whether they are marketed at 1, 1.2, or 1.5Ghz.

Chipsets

This table is sortable. Just click on the column headings.

Release DateChipset ModelFamilyCoresARM Instruction SetGPUClock Mhz
2008 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 QSD 8650Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 200 (AMD Z430)1 Ghz
2008 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 QSD 8250Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 200 (AMD Z430)1 Ghz
2009 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 QSD 8250ASimilar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051.3 Ghz
2009 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 QSD 8650ASimilar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051.3 Ghz
2010 Q2Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 7230Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2050.8 Ghz
2010 Q2Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 7630Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2050.8 Ghz
2010 Q2Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 8255Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051 Ghz
2010 Q2Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 8655Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051 Ghz
2011Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 8255TSimilar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051.4 Ghz
2011Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 8655TSimilar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051.4 Ghz
2011Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 APQ 8060Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2201.2 Ghz
2010 Q3Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8260Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2201.5-1.2 Ghz
2010 Q3Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8260Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2201.5-1.2 Ghz
2011 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8960Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2251.7-1.5 Ghz
2011 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8270Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2251.7-1.5 Ghz
2011 Q4Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8260ASimilar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2251.7-1.5 Ghz
2012 Q3Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8230Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 3051.2-1.0 Ghz
2012 Q3Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8930Similar to Cortex A8QuadARMv7Adreno 3051.2-1.0 Ghz
2012Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ 8064Similar to Cortex A8QuadARMv7Adreno 3202.5 Ghz
2013 Q1Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8974Similar to Cortex A8QuadARMv7Adreno 3202.5-2.0 Ghz
2010 Q3Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM 8660Similar to Cortex A8DualARMv7Adreno 2251.5-1.2 Ghz
2010 Q2Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM 8655Similar to Cortex A8SingleARMv7Adreno 2051 Ghz
2010 Q2Telechips TCC8902ARM11SingleARMv6ARM Mali2000.8-0.5 Ghz
2010 Q2Telechips TCC8901ARM11SingleARMv6ARM Mali2000.8-0.5 Ghz
2010 Q1NVIDIA Tegra 250 (Tegra 2)Cortex A9DualARMv7GeForce ULV 300-333Mhz1 Ghz
2011 Q1NVIDIA Tegra 250 3D (Tegra 2 3D)Cortex A9DualARMv7GeForce ULV 400Mhz1.2 Ghz
2011 H2NVIDIA Tegra 3Cortex A9QuadARMv7Kal-El1.5 Ghz
2010 Q4Amlogic 8726-MCortex A9SingleARMv7Mali4000.8 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3410Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3420Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3430Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3440Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.8 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3503Cortex A8SingleARMv70.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3515Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3525Cortex A8SingleARMv70.6 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3530Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.72 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3621Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5300.72 Ghz
Texas Instruments OMAP 3630Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5301.2-0.6 Ghz
2011 Q1Texas Instruments OMAP 4430Cortex A9DualARMv7PowerVR SGX540 304Mhz1 Ghz
2011 Q3Texas Instruments OMAP 4460Cortex A9DualARMv7PowerVR SGX540 384Mhz1.5 Ghz
2012 Q3Texas Instruments OMAP 4470Cortex A15DualARMv7PowerVR SGX544 384Mhz1.8 Ghz
2012 Q3Texas Instruments OMAP 5430Cortex A15DualARMv72xPowerVR SGX544MP2 Ghz
2012 Q3Texas Instruments OMAP 5432Cortex A15DualARMv72xPowerVR SGX544MP2 Ghz
Rockchip 2808ARM9SingleARMv50.56 Ghz
Rockchip 2818ARM9SingleARMv50.64 Ghz
Rockchip 29xxCortex A8SingleARMv71.2 Ghz
2007Samsung S5L8900ARM11SingleARMv6PowerVR Lite0.412 Ghz
2009Samsung S3C6410ARM11SingleARMv60.8-0.533 Ghz
2009Samsung S5PC100Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5350.833-0.667 Ghz
2010Samsung S5PC110Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5401 Ghz
2011Samsung Exynos 4210Cortex A9DualARMv7Mali-4001.2 Ghz
2010 Q1Apple A4Cortex A8SingleARMv7PowerVR SGX5351-0.8 Ghz
2011 Q1Apple A5Cortex A9DualARMv7PowerVR SGX543MP21 Ghz
infoTMIC IMAPx200ARM11SingleARMv61 Ghz
infoTMIC IMAPx210ARM11SingleARMv6Vivante GC6001 Ghz
infoTMIC IMAPx220ARM11SingleARMv61 Ghz
Freescale iMX515Cortex A8SingleARMv7AMD Z430 (Adreno 200)0.8 Ghz
Freescale iMX535Cortex A8SingleARMv70.8 Ghz
Marvell PXA 166ARM9SingleARMv50.8 Ghz
Marvell PXA 168ARM9SingleARMv51.0 Ghz
2011 Q2Renesas EV2Cortex A9DualARMv7NEON0.533 Ghz
2011 Q4Allwinner A10Cortex A8SingleARMv7Mali4001-1.5 Ghz
2011 Q4Ingenic Xburst JZ4770MIPSSingleMIPSGC8601 Ghz

Chipset Useful Links

Wiki MIPS Architecture
Samsung Exynos 4210 (Cortex A9 1/1.2Ghz Dual Core)
Samsung Exynos 4210 (Cortex A9 1/1.2Ghz Dual Core)
Samsung S5PC110 (Cortex A8 1Ghz)
Samsung S5PC100 (Cortex A8 667/833Mhz)
Texas Instruments OMAP Architecture
InfoTMIC (X220, X200) ARM11
Wiki Rockchip
Telechips 890x
Amlogic 8726-M Press Release
Freescale 515
Freescale 535
Marvell PXA
Renesas EV2
NVIDIA TEGRA 2 Official
NVIDIA TEGRA 2 Wikipedia
NVIDIA TEGRA 3 (Kal-El) Wikipedia
ARM 11 Official
ARM 11 Architecture Wikipedia
Cortex A8 Official
ARM Cortex A8 Architecture Wikipedia
Cortex A9 Official
ARM Cortex A9 Architecture Wikipedia
Qualcomm Snapdragon Official
Qualcomm Snapdragon Architecture Wikipedia
Info on Qualcomm's new chip naming (S1, S2, S3, S4)