Nvidia Tegra 4i will bring LTE superphone capabilities to mainstream smartphones

Earlier this week Nvidia announced the Tegra 4i which is their first quad-core mobile processor with integrated LTE capabilities. The entire family of Tegra 4 processors supports the new NVIDIA Chimera Computational Photography Architecture.

Chimera allows consumers to instantly grab high-quality high-dynamic range photos and videos in a vast array of conditions with a single flash.

Another showstopper: the ability to quickly take wide-angle ‘fish-eye’ photos by simply moving the camera around to ‘paint’ whatever panorama a user desires in real-time.

And ‘tap-to-track’ technology lets a user touch an image of a person or an object they want to capture. This insures that the subject of the photo remains in focus as the camera – or the person or object the camera is trying to capture – moves, while adjusting for changing lighting conditions.

LTE modem enabled

As a result of the Nvidia acquisition of Icera 20 months ago, they have new LTE modem products

The first product, the NVIDIA i500 LTE modem, was previewed at CES and officially announced today. It will help power high-end phones and tablets.

The second product is the NVIDIA Tegra 4i processor, which integrates Tegra 4 with the i500 modem in a chip half the size of its nearest competitor. Tegra 4i will bring super phone capabilities to the mainstream smartphone market, and there will be nothing on the market like it.

Tegra 4i’s CPU cores aren’t going to set performance records, and that will be doubly true in late 2013 after Qualcomm’s 600- and 800-series Snapdragon chips have had some time to proliferate. The 4i will improve significantly on Tegra 3, though, putting the SoCs CPU performance firmly in “good enough” territory.

So far, Qualcomm has essentially cornered the mid-to-high-end smartphone market in the US, not just because of its generally good performance but also because most of its chips feature an integrated LTE modem. This is one reason why phones released in the US often use Snapdragon SoCs despite using different SoCs in their international versions, and as Nvidia’s first chip with an integrated LTE modem the Tegra 4i should help the company win some of that business.

the i500 modem is a marvel. Here’s why:

Performance efficiency. Icera has unique soft modem technology which implements the entire modem baseband in software. This approach is particularly suited to the modem due to the adaptive nature of the wireless cellular environment. It allows the modem to dynamically allocate more processing resources to the most challenging processing functions required at any given time, making it much more efficient than traditional hardware-centric implementations.

Agility. Our unique soft modem implementation enables us to respond exceptionally quickly to market requirements for new features and performance enhancements. Rather than redesigning the chip (a costly, time-consuming experience), updates can be made by merely updating the software.

Roadmap longevity. The roadmap of Icera’s modem can be extended through software updates providing feature upgrades and performance enhancements. This is even more beneficial for SoCs (where the modem is integrated with the applications processor) by delivering the cost-reduction benefits the SoC brings without having to compromise on feature capabilities and performance enhancements.

A great way to get a sense of the soft modem’s capabilities is by checking out the ASUS VivoTab Windows RT tablet. It’s equipped with our first-generation LTE multi-mode modem, the i410. It is also the first device to ship with a quad-core applications processor and an LTE modem from the same vendor.

The i410 is now certified for use on AT&T’s LTE multi-mode network and is a testament to the capabilities of the soft modem architecture. It’s been an ideal foundation for the i500, our second-generation LTE modem, which has more than five times the computational capacity of its predecessor. It’s been designed for global LTE multi-mode deployment and means we’re able to deliver a compelling solution for high-end and mainstream devices globally.

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