NVIDIA Announces Tegra 4i Processor, Aiming To Make 1080p And LTE Affordable

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NVIDIA came to play today, in a day that will be filled with announcements, by letting their Tegra 4i and i500 modem out of the bag officially.  The NVIDIA i500 modem was previewed at CES and officially announced today, but the Tegra 4i is the real potential game changer.  The Tegra 4i will be NVIDIA’s first integrated Tegra LTE processor and is basically taking the budget smartphone chip to a whole new level.

If we run down the specs of the new Tegra 4i processor, it’s based ont he R4 Cortex-A9 CPU architecture with 4 cores plus 1 battery saving core.  It will also have a combined 60 GPU cores and 2GB of RAM.  Stacked on that will be NVIDIA’s  first integrated modem, the Icera i500, which is the real kicker because they’re calling this a “‘soft-modem’ that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and air interfaces – something other modem vendors can only dream of.”   Lastly, this Tegra 4i chip for the first time will be aimed to power all major functions of a smartphone, including 1080p displays.

So, there you have it, NVIDIA’s big announcement due to make a huge impact on the mid-range mobile device market.  Additionally, NVIDIA announced a ““Phoenix” reference smartphone platform for the Tegra 4i processor to demonstrate its unique mobile technologies. Phoenix is a blueprint that phone makers can reference in designing and building future Tegra 4i smartphones to help get them to market quicker.”  It’s not something you’ll see coming to your carrier, but their busting it out to demonstrate their new capabilities.  We think we’ll likely see it around at Mobile Wold Conference to keep your eyes peeled.

So, are any of you excited about the new Tegra 4i chepset?  Or are you guys still drooling over the more high-end Tegra 4?  Or forget NVIDIA, you’re holding out for the Exynos Octa-core processor?  I’ve loved the Tegra 3 in my Nexus 7, so I’m really excited to see how these new chips work out for other budget style devices.  Let us know your thoughts by commenting below…

NVIDIA Introduces Its First Integrated Tegra LTE Processor

Tegra 4i Delivers Highest Performance of Any Single-Chip Smartphone Processor

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—February 19, 2013— NVIDIA today introduced its first fully integrated 4G LTE mobile processor, the NVIDIA® Tegra® 4i, which is significantly faster yet half the size of its nearest competitor.

Previously codenamed “Project Grey,” the Tegra 4i processor features 60 custom NVIDIA GPU cores; a quad-core CPU based on ARM’s newest and most efficient core— the R4 Cortex-A9 CPU— plus a fifth battery saver core; and a version of the NVIDIA i500 LTE modem optimized for integration. The result: an extremely power efficient, compact, high performance mobile processor that enables smartphone performance and capability previously available only in expensive super phones.

“NVIDIA is delivering for the first time a single, integrated processor that powers all the major functions of a smartphone,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra 4i phones will provide amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

Tegra 4i’s new 2.3 GHz CPU was jointly designed by NVIDIA and ARM, and is the most efficient, highest performance CPU core on the market.

“Tegra 4i is the very latest SoC solution based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and demonstrates the ability of ARM and our partners to continue to push the performance of technology and create exciting user experiences,” says Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, processor division, ARM. “ARM and NVIDIA worked closely to further optimize the Cortex-A9 processor to drive performance and efficiency in areas such as streaming and responsiveness. This is an example of the collaboration and innovation that enables ARM technology-based solutions to be market drivers through multiple generations of SoC solutions.”

Utilizing the same architecture as Tegra 4’s GPU, Tegra 4i features five times the number of GPU cores of Tegra 3 for high-quality, console-quality gaming experiences and full 1080p HD displays. It also integrates an optimized version of the NVIDIA i500 software-defined radio modem which provides LTE capabilities, and makes networking upgradability and scalability fast and easy.

”NVIDIA’s Tegra 4i appears to outperform the leading integrated LTE chip significantly, and also benefits from an integrated ‘soft-modem’ that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and air interfaces – something other modem vendors can only dream of,” said Stuart Robinson, director, Handset Component Technologies Program at Strategy Analytics.”

Tegra 4i mobile processor’s camera capabilities include the NVIDIA Chimera™ Computational Photography Architecture recently announced in Tegra 4. This delivers many advanced features, including the world’s first always-on high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, first tap to track functionality and first panoramic photos with HDR.

NVIDIA also introduced its “Phoenix” reference smartphone platform for the Tegra 4i processor to demonstrate its unique mobile technologies. Phoenix is a blueprint that phone makers can reference in designing and building future Tegra 4i smartphones to help get them to market quicker.

The Tegra 4i mobile processor will be demonstrated in the NVIDIA booth in Hall 7, Stand #C110, at the 2013 Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 25-28.

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