ZTE, maker of the super-inexpensive Orange San Francisco II and the spec-alike T-Mobile Vivacity, isn’t known for making high-end devices. But we’re hearing word that the Shenzen-based firm will be making use of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and Tegra 2 quad-core and dual-core chips in future products.

A report on DigiTimes says that ZTE will be bunging Nvidia’s fast multi-core chips intofuture phones and tablets, after Nvidia paid a visit to both ZTE and Huawei.

We’ve already seen evidence of dual-core action from Huawei at CES, in the form of the super-slender Huawei Ascend P1 S and word of the quad-core Huawei Ascend D1 Q has reached our ears.

This gives us reason to believe that the ZTE going for the high end with Nvidia chips might be accurate. The two Chinese firms are crosstown rivals after all and so one side can’t be seen to be outperforming the other. We’ve asked ZTE and Nvidia for an official line on this and are waiting to hear back.

Recently ZTE announced the Light II tablet for the UK, an inexpensive Gingerbread slate which might appeal to those after a cheap tab for some rooting action, but isn’t likely to give tablets like the Transformer Prime any sleepless nights.

Healthy competition is good though; we’d love to see ZTE and Huawei launch some low-priced quad-core tablets and kick off a price war.