Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of graphics giant Nvidia, sees Android-driven tablets powered by his company’s speedy processors overtaking Apple’s iPad in about the same time-frame it took Android smartphones to beat the iPhone, he told Reuters:

The Android phone took only two and a half years to achieve the momentum that we’re talking about. I would expect the same thing on Honeycomb tablets.

The comment is a 180-degree turn from Huang’s previous analysis which blamed lackluster sales of Android tablets on the lack of software richness, sub-par marketing and high price points, to name a few. A Jefferies analysis (see tablet below the fold) echoes this sentiment, conceding that a small percentage of users are currently considering buying an Android tablet over iPad. Nevertheless, Android tablets are expected to catch up next year, the survey notes.

If Android slates are to zoom past Apple’s device, Huang now argues, more apps are needed, especially high-quality games and entertainment titles. He suggested that Android vendors iterate Honeycomb devices using Nvidia’s next-generation Tegra processor code-named Kal-El. Plugged-in sources describe the chip as a screamer…

Also known as the Tegra 3 platform, this piece of silicon marries a netbook-ready CPU with four processing cores based on ARM’s blueprints to Nvidia’s high-performing graphics unit, all on a single die with ultra-low power requirements. It can outperform an Intel Core 2 Duo while sipping less battery power than the current dual-core Tegra 2 processor. In terms of graphics, the chip can drive extreme HD resolutions of 2560×1600. Already five major smartphone vendors and five computer manufacturers built their gadgets around Tegra 3 platform, Huang told the news gathering organization.

PocketNow claims first Tegra 3 devices are to be expected on market this summer. Another key component of the upcoming Android tablet avalanche is Honeycomb 3.1, released at Google I/O 2011 earlier this month. Huand described this improved version of Google’s operating system written with slates in mind as being “just delightful”.

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