One of the longstanding issues tech gurus and smartphone manufacturers alike have had with Nvidia’s Tegra platform is that the LTE modem hasn’t been integrated. The result is a chipset that requires more space for an external LTE modem thereby meaning less room for other important components. Nvidia’s lateness to the game has cost them so far as 2012 was all about Qualcomm and their fantastic line of Snapdragon processors being found in more of the top end devices people were talking about and buying. But that changes today (kind of).
This morning, Nvidia took off the wraps on their newest SoC, the Tegra 4i. The main takeaways here are that the 4i is overall smaller than the standard Tegra 4 SoC and an integrated i500 LTE modem. The processor powering it all is an ARM Cortex A9 base. Sadly, however, in gaining integrated LTE and smaller footprint, Nvidia had to make a cut – the GPU is only packing 60 cores as opposed to the standard Tegra 4′s 72. That said, The 4i will clock itself up to 2.3 GHz – a decent amount higher than the standard Tegra 4′s 1.9 GHz ceiling.
Other differences include 1920 x 1200 (own display) and 1080p (external via HDMI) resolution limits and 2 GB of memory. The standard Tegra 4 meanwhile can pump out 3200 x 2000 own display) and 4K (via HDMI) resolutions and features twice the memory.
For what it’s worth, though, the addition of built-in LTE is a big step for Nvidia. Now all we have to do is wait. Nvidia says the first Tegra 4i devices won’t hit until the latter part of the year. Sad faces all around, we know.