NVIDIA (NVDA) on Tuesday announced its first Tegra processor with an integrated LTE chip. The 2.3GHz quad-core Tegra 4i, which brings the company in closer competition with Qualcomm (QCOM) and its line of Snapdragon CPUs, is equipped with 60 custom GPU cores, a fifth processing core for battery conservation and an integrated NVIDIA i500 LTE modem. It also includes NVIDIA’s Chimera camera technology that is capable of capturing HDR panorama shots without requiring a single-direction sweep. The company calls its the new processor the most efficient, highest performance CPU core on the market, noting that it will provide “amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.” NVIDIA’s press release follows 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 reference smartphone platform code-named “Phoenix” 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.