NVIDIA launches Tegra 4i with integrated 4G LTE modem

Integrated modem is key to new chip's appeal, says Strategy Analytics

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) launched on Tuesday its first fully integrated 4G LTE mobile processor called Tegra 4i, which includes a new 2.3 GHz CPU with the Cortex-A9  r4 high-performance CPU core developed by ARM.

The Tegra 4i chip has 60 CPU cores, a quad-core CPU based on ARM's Cortex-A9 r4 CPU and an integrated i500 4G LTE modem.

"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 mobile business at NVIDIA.

On Tuesday, NVIDIA also introduced its Phoenix reference smartphone platform, which serves as blueprint that phone makers can reference in designing and building future Tegra 4i smartphones.

Strategy Analytics analyst Stuart Robinson commented that "on paper at least, the Tegra 4i outperforms Qualcomm's latest industry-leading chips in most apps processor measurements but, most importantly for NVIDIA, it also benefits from an integrated 'soft-modem' that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and new air interfaces, something that most other modem vendors can currently only dream of."

The Tegra 4i is "designed to meet the demanding needs of nascent smartphone features like HDR video capture and FPS mobile gaming, yet its fifth 'companion core' ensures extremely low power consumption in less demanding situations," Robinson added.

This is the second major chip announcement by NVIDIA this year. Last month, NVIDIA announced its Tegra 4 chip at the Consumer Electronics Show, a show that was dominated by chip rival Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM).

For more:
- see NVIDIA's release
- check out Robinson's blog

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