Nvidia "paper-launches" Tegra 4 “lite”, AKA Tegra 4i

Nvidia officially unveiled another member of its Tegra 4 family, one which is known as the Tegra 4i. Project Grey, as it was formerly known, is Nvidia’s first system-on-chip with an integrated baseband modem, one which is borne out of the acquisition of Icera back in May 2011 and is targeted at smartphones rather than super phones or tablets.

The SoC appears to be a middle ground between the two-year old Tegra 3 and the just-released Tegra 4.

It has a 4+1 arrangement but uses Cortex-A9 cores rather than the Tegra 4’s Cortex-A15 ones and uses the R4 version of the Cortex-A9, which delivers a clock speed of up to 2.3GHz (single core).

Clock for clock, it is up to 30 per cent faster than the Cortex-A9 found in the Tegra 3. The fact that it can run at much faster clock speeds means that the Tegra 4i is on average twice as fast as the Tegra 3.

The SoC will use a 60-core GPU (compared to the Tegra 4’s 72 core) and is smaller than the Tegra 4 despite having an integrated modem.

Speaking of the modem, the chip will support all current LTE bands. Both SoCs are built using a 28nm process and the Tegra 4i is likely to be significantly cheaper to manufacture.

The Tegra 4i is already sampling but won’t be available for sale until the first quarter of 2014 according to Matt Wuebbling, Nvidia’s director of product market, who did a live webcast for European journalists yesterday.

Interestingly enough, it will be targeting smartphones between $100 and $500 but will offer features available on today’s superphones such as full HD displays.


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