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While Nvidia Corp. has been trying to pull in the release of Tegra 4i-based smartphones, it looks like the handsets will only become available sometimes in calendar 2014. The chief executive of Nvidia said last week that voice modem certification for Tegra 4i will only be completed towards the end of the year, which means that the phones will simply not reach the market in calendar 2013.

“Our modem qualification comes in two different parts, they are related, but not the same. First is the data service, which is important for all of our tablet products [e.g., Tegra 4]. So, data modem certification is well ahead of the voice, and we are in the process of doing that as we speak. Then there is the [voice modem technology] that goes with Tegra 4i. That happens when the certification completes near the end of the year. So, we are not expecting…,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during a conference call with investors and financial analysts.

Without certification of the baseband technologies inside a chip, it is impossible to sell a smartphone on its base. As a result, Nvidia needs to complete all certification procedures first and only then it will be able to sell the chips to interested parties. Nvidia demonstrated data transfer capabilities of Tegra 4i in 4G/LTE cat 4 networks back in May and is expected to receive data-related certifications for the i500 modem (used inside 4i and alongside the Tegra 4) shortly. However, the company needs voice-related certificates to sell Tegra 4i.

According to chief executive officer of Nvidia, voice certifications for the highly-integrated Tegra 4i will be received only be the end of Nvidia’s fiscal 2013, which means January of calendar 2014. Therefore, it will be possible to expect the first Tegra 4i-based smartphones sometimes in February – March timeframe.


A reference design of Nvidia Tegra 4i-based smartphone

A good news is that Nvidia is working with AT&T over qualification procedures. Given that AT&T is extremely rigorous when it comes to certifications, meeting their criteria will automatically mean that Tegra 4i will pass the tests with other operators.

“The reason why we do AT&T is because it is the most rigorous and if we get through AT&T, you are pretty much set on just about vastly the western world's open markets. So that is the reason why we focus on AT&T first,” said Mr. Huang.

Nvidia Tegra 4i features four new high-performance ARM Cortex-A9/r4 cores running at 2.30GHz as well as one low-power ARM Cortex-A9 core that operates when performance is not required. The processor also integrates custom ultra low-power GeForce core with 60 stream processors, LPDDR3 memory controller, software Icera i500 LTE baseband modem (GSM, HSPA+, TD-HSPA, 4G/LTE), advanced image processor as well as Chimera HDR photography processor, which is expected to become one of the main selling-points for Tegra 4i-based handsets. The SoC is aimed at mainstream smartphones.

Tags: Nvidia, Tegra, Wayne, Grey, ARM, Cortex, Geforce, 4G/LTE

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 08/15/13 12:24:47 PM
Latest comment: 03/28/14 06:27:00 AM
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1 4 [Posted by: loadwick  | Date: 08/15/13 12:24:47 PM]
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It's the A9r4 (4th architectural revision of A9) at 2.3GHz which will NOT be slow. Current A15 implementations have a worse power:performance ratio than the latest iterations of A9. The 4i SoC is not targeting performance at all costs, but a balance of performance, cost and power for mobile handsets rather than tablets.

Not to say it will be the best available, but "shockingly dated" is not accurate either.
0 0 [Posted by: Prosthetic_Head  | Date: 08/20/13 09:12:03 AM]
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2. 
... U r aware that the normal version of the tegra 4 does exist and uses a15 cores, it also runs about twice the speed of the exynos a15s Samsung uses... Not to mention that's running a benchmark while is clocked way under what it can run stably the only, issue is with the 72 cuda core gpu attached to it create a lot of heat which is why they made the tegra 4i which is still probably going to outpace most a15 processors... My source of course is my nvidia shield which is a monster which is faster than most laptops from just a couple of years ago and has a gpu better than an Xbox 360
2 2 [Posted by: aquataze  | Date: 08/15/13 02:30:44 PM]
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I am just not seeing the logic in spending money in releasing an A9 CPU in 2014.

I have not seen enough genuinely unbiased benchmarks to argue which chips are best but there has to be a reason that virtually no manufacturer wants to use Tegra's in their phones/tablets. Hell, nVidia had to make their own device to use up the mountains of unsold chips.

Realistically i think nVidia are going to have to make their own tablet and their own phone and if the chips are as good as you think they are then the devices will sell themselves.
3 2 [Posted by: loadwick  | Date: 08/15/13 02:53:03 PM]
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For your information.
Tegra 4 normal version is based on A15 while Tegra4i just based A9 ~
So as far as I know, Tegra4i have quite raw power compare to normal Tegra4 due to CortexA9 design is a lot of slower than CortexA15 design~
0 0 [Posted by: Killian Khoo  | Date: 08/18/13 05:51:01 AM]
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3. 
"Hello. Is that Mr Huang? I'm just ringing to let you know your company won't survive much past 2018".
0 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 08/16/13 05:19:26 AM]
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Hahaha with Intel amd and both having their heads in their ass I doubt this for the PC segment ... Huang may be squirlly like a bag full of nuts But his core IP can't be beat without over clocking or really bad frame pacing and terrible iq
0 0 [Posted by: amdzorz  | Date: 08/18/13 08:16:21 AM]
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