Nvidia Corp. said it would introduce its code-named Grey system-on-chip that integrates application processors, graphics capabilities and baseband capabilities either late this year, or early next year. Previously Nvidia only implied it would release Tegra "Grey" along with future-generation Tegra "Wayne" product.
"[We will introduce Tegra with baseband capabilities] in Q1 2013 or Q4 this year. That baseband will integrate 3G, 4G/LTE. By today's standards, this is quite a high-end part, by then it will be a mainstream part," said Chris Evenden, director of investor relations Nvidia, at Morgan Stanley technology, media, and telecom conference.
Earlier Nvidia did not provide any concrete timeframes for the launch of its first Tegra application processor with built-in 3G/4G baseband processor from Icera. The company did say that Grey will become available "along with" next-generation Nvidia Tegra 4 "Wayne" system-on-chip, which is officially slated to release in 2012. This time, Nvidia provides more or less clear timeslot.
Nothing particular is known about the code-named Grey system-on-chip for smartphones apart from the fact that it will sport 3G/4G/other communication capabilities, will likely be made using 28nm fabrication process and will have a GeForce-class programmable graphics core. It is unknown whether the SoC will sport four ARM application cores or two, whether those cores will be progressive Cortex-A15 (in case Grey is a cut-down Wayne with 3G/4G) or will retain conservative Cortex-A9 (in case it is a version of Tegra 3 "Kal-El").
With the addition of Icera, Nvidia offers the two main processors used in smartphones - the applications processor, in the form of the Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, and the baseband processor, based on Icera technology. With the combined offering, Nvidia will be able to address markets of lower-cost mainstream smartphones.