NVIDIA Introduces Its First Integrated Tegra LTE Processor, The 2.3GHz Tegra 4i

In the world of consumer technology, shrinkage generally means good things. As process technologies shrink, more and more power (and memory) are being crammed into smaller spaces, which allows for smaller, more mobile gadgets and lifestyles. NVIDIA is certainly helping to lead that charge, today introducing its first integrated Tegra LTE processor. The Tegra 4i has 4G LTE on its brain, and NVIDIA claims that this chip is "significantly faster yet half the size of its nearest competitor." That's a line that'll surely get the attention of folks like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

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 idea here is to bring LTE + high power to more phones; not just flagship, expensive 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 it features five times the number of GPU cores of Tegra 3. 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. 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. The chip will be shown at Mobile World Congress next week, and we're guessing it's just a matter of time before we hear which companies decide to pop this into their next phone.