Toshiba Folio 100


Update: Good news everyone. It looks like NVIDIA is not dropping support for older Android tablets that were based on earlier Tegra 2 designs. The company will continue to make its code and drivers available for the ViewSonic G-Tablet, Notion Ink Adam, and other older Tegra 2-based devices. All that’s changed is that NVIDIA planned to phase out support for older development kits, but responding to the public outcry NVIDIA is clarifying that it will also work with owners of that older development kit on a case by case basis.

Specifically, an NVIDIA rep says the company will be reaching out to open source ROM makers to offer their support.

via Android Police

Original Post: Almost every Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet expected to launch in the first half of the year comes with a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core chip. But not all Tegra 2 device is the same. The latest Tegra 2 platform is code-named Ventana, but earlier models known as Betelgeuse and Harmony power older tablets including the ViewSonic G-Tablet, Toshiba Folio 100, and Notion Ink Adam tablet. And it turns out that NVIDIA doesn’t plan to release any new Android drivers for those older devices.

That means that while it may be possible to port Android 3.0 Honeycomb to run on those devices once the source code is available, you probably won’t see hardware video acceleration.

In other words, it’s unlikely that Toshiba, ViewSonic, or other companies, will ever offer official Honeycomb updates for these tablets. Notion Ink has promised to use Android 3.0 features in the Adam tablet, but since Notion Ink has developed its own custom version of Android, I wouldn’t be surprised if the company keeps the Android 2.2 drivers and just adds the Honeycomb features that make sense.

The decision will have no impact on newer devices such as  the Motorola XOOM or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. But if you jumped on the Tegra 2 tablet bandwagon early, it looks like you may be stuck with older software.

via Reg Hardware


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22 replies on “NVIDIA drops Android support for older Tegra 2 development kits (updated)”

  1. Without the updated drivers, my Viewsonic G-Tablet will basically be frozen in time at 2.2, unable to have Honeycomb or any future OS!  This is unacceptable for a product that was put out only less than a year ago!!! Yet, Nvidia is still releasing drivers for video
    cards that are 3 years old!??!  WTF!??? I for one will think twice before buying ANY product that contains NVidia after this. I just bought my G-Tablet a couple weeks ago, and NVidia is already telling me it is dead to them. Huh.

  2. Nice bit of PR spin, unless they put their money where their mouth is; their Linux and open development forums have been gathering cobwebs for some time now, with developers being ignored on the whole:

    The announcement is probably due to hardware vendors jumping ship to other platforms that have better long-term support. Don’t believe the hype until it actually happens 😉

  3. Read the original thread, for Flying Spaghetti Monster’s sake! They’re not pulling support from any end-user platform.

  4. If this is true, I will NEVER buy another product with an Nvidia product as part of its specs. They should seriously Reconsider

  5. OLD??!!! I just bought the G Tablet two weeks ago! I specifically bought it for the dual core processor to support Honeycomb. If this is true I will NEVER buy another NVIDIA product…

    1. You may have bought it “two weeks ago” but the thing has been out for about a year. Ever wonder why the price dropped from ~$400 to sub$300 on sales?
      You bought a device that doesn’t even have manufacturer support any more.

      The whining and “I’m never buying a NVIDIA product” threats make me want to facepalm. Was it stupid for NVIDIA to name two chip boards tegra 2? Absolutely, but it just means you’ll have to do some more research next time to make sure you have the newer one. Same thing you have to do with Intel’s Pentium processors and the same you have to do with AMD’s fusion.

  6. This is common with both Nvidia and ATI when it comes to mobile chipsets. They’ll release the initial drivers but then leave it up to the device manufacturer or Microsoft to continue to update the drivers. Both companies are a-holes in this respect. Thank god for the Omega drivers team, otherwise my 5 year old Dell laptop would be almost useless for gaming.

  7. wow 6 months and it is already obsolete good thing I bought a netbook.

  8. but regarding the so called New version tegra 2 chip, is there any info that they will provide longevity support in term of software update? ofcoz things gonna get old and outdated , all the gadjets are the same……..

  9. Does anybody know which version of Tegra 2 the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S2 comes with? (the non Exynos variants).

  10. I just got my Notion Ink Adam a couple of weeks ago. With the current OS it is a piece of nearly useless junk.
    If thanks to NVIDIA I’ve just spent almost $600 then I will NEVER AGAIN buy any NVIDIA product. Ever.
    Just so happens that when it comes to video cards, NVIDEA has been my first choice for many years.

  11. While I’m not too concerned with this, I do think Nvidia is making a mistake. The uncertainty and longevity of product support, whether real or perceived, is going to influence their market share. Intel is making a push to revitalize their mobile line and will enjoy any opening Nvidia gives.

    But this doesn’t concern me much as a consumer. I enjoy my N1 and will enjoy my tablet when it comes out. Even if it’s only for 2 years. Enjoy what you have now and not about the latest and greatest update. Besides, I upgraded my PC to Win 7 last year and it liked many of my Vista drivers just fine. Who says Android will be any different?

  12. What a joke. Apparently, the folks at NVIDIA don’t have a very good background in the fundamentals of computing. One of the advantages of separating the elements of “hardware” from those of “software” is that, whereas it’s relatively difficult to make small changes or large upgrades to the physical hardware of a device, it is relatively easy to change or upgrade the software, VERY EASY. Of course, that just speaks to the technical realities of computing and the user experience. Business models are another story altogether. NVIDIA seems to think that the hardware and software should be all locked together, and that deliberate defects in the software and its distribution model are valid excuses to sell more hardware. Of course, since this is Apple’s entire business strategy and consumers are dumb enough to encourage Apple in record numbers, it’s no wonder that NVIDIA thinks it can treat consumers like garbage and have the consumers get all excited over the abuse.

    Don’t deceive yourself as you read this. It’s not that upgrades to the software CAN’T be made available. It’s that they WON’T be made available. This is a pretty standard trick that NVIDIA plays and seems to be the general modus operandi of Android devices. If you bought one of these newly designated door stops and you didn’t know that this was going to happen then shame on you for not doing your research or shame on you for not listening to those of us who tried to make it known from the beginning. For that matter, if you were aware that this would happen, then shame on your for supporting NVIDIA financially by purchasing their products. We as consumers would be well advised not to purchase products that are defective by design in that they were part of a planned obsolescence business model.

    This is just a symptom of a the great disease which is the current fad in mobile computing. How is the world have people convinced themselves these stupid slates are a revolution in computing or even its future. It’s a huge step backwards. I’ve installed the latest version of Linux on a 15 year old laptop and everything worked perfectly. I’ve installed Windows 7 on a 10 year old laptop and everything worked perfectly. You’re not even going to install the latest version of Android on a device that you bought LAST YEAR, and you think that this is progress. NVIDIA is giving you two choices: Buy yet another defective by design device to replace your current one, or sit quietly with what you have with no hope of future improvements like security patches, performance enhancements, feature refinements, increased stability, and general bug fixing. What a joke.

    1. “Apparently, the folks at NVIDIA don’t have a very good background in the fundamentals of computing. One of the advantages of separating the elements of “hardware” from those of “software” is that, whereas it’s relatively difficult to make small changes or large upgrades to the physical hardware of a device, it is relatively easy to change or upgrade the software, VERY EASY.”

      I suppose this explains NVIDIA’s excellent unified driver model for consumer video cards. You know, how the laptop with a GeForce GT130M that I bought 18 months ago only supported GL 2.3 at the time, but now supports GL 3.2.0. On Linux. Now…which other card does that? Right….

      I think you have more of a point when you relate this specifically to their model for dealing with the mobile market. Because we all know that market is driven by fast turnover, not by supporting existing devices for a long time.

  13. That’s what you get with Linux (Android). Manufacturers who only care about hardware sales will not spend any money on the software.

    nVidia just care about selling their hardware. Once you paid for the hardware item, they got your money. That’s it. They use Linux (Android) for free just to ship an OS with their hardware item.

    nVidia doesn’t care about software support. Just selling their hardware and hope you sell that piece of junk after 6 mths when you excited about their Tegra3 and then upgrade to their newer hardware. Well, you just paid them some more money. And the cycle repeats itself.

    Do you see what I am saying here?

    1. While I like Linux and Android I really can’t argue with your statement. Until OEMs start publishing how long they will support Android on a device I’ll probably be shying away from their devices or Google needs to step up and support the OS like MS does for Windows.

      Wouldn’t really care if they charged a small fee for major upgrades after a year or so. . . just give us some guarantee that you are going to support your products.

      It wasn’t a big problem with phones because the hardware was evolving so quickly but now we are getting hardware on phones and tablets that will suffice for a longer period.

  14. That’s why you need to buy Android devices from better manufacturers like MOT. You know you will get a more timely updates. Droid X just got updated to Gingerbread. With all the Android phones out there, only 3 Android phones are officially released with this latest OS. It is free. I need to pay for the SW updates from Apple for my ipod touch. Forget about Windows, you need to pay for any upgrades.

  15. that is why better to get Windows or Apple machines ie the ipad2. One click of a button and its updated.

    Android is full of shit. One day got support, one day don’t have. One version can update, one ersion cannot. One can connect to marketplace, one cannot. Eg the Folio 100 cannot connect to marketplace at all.

    Now Nvidia is doing this shit ie stopping support for older devices. What crap. Nothing like a Windows 7 Starter. So stable and so easy to update. Microsoft is so resposible, always giving us security and performance updates.

    The same with Apple. So easy to update.

    No idea why people buy Android devices when there is so much uncertainty.

    1. Apple is no different. My iPod Touch 2nd gen is done. They stopped updating it. It’s only 2 years old!!!

      1. Then Windows is still king. Microsoft updates it for years to come. By time it stops, your hardware is outdated and needs to be changed anyway.

      2. The 2nd gen. iTouch is around 3 years old and for mp3 players that is very outdated.

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