NVIDIA Tegra 4

Smaller than Tegra 4 but still boasting some serious processing power

NVIDIA this morning took the wraps off the Tegra 4i, the next iteration in its recently announced Tegra 4 family. In a nutshell, Tegra 4i is smaller package than its Tegra 4 cousin. It's got 60 GPU cores instead of 72, but it's also got NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem built into it. The processor is an ARM Cortex A9-R4, which was specially designed and optimized for the Tegra 4i. The processor clocks out at up to 2.3 GHz, for what that's worth. (OK, a lot of cycles is what that's worth.)

Before you get too hot and bothered by all this CPU/GPU talk, NVIDIA says we likely won't see any production devices until the toward the end of the year. So for now you'll just have to whet your appetite with the "Phoenix" reference platform NVIDIA's seeding. NVIDIA plans to show off Tegra 4i next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

We've got NVIDIA's full presser and complete specs of Tegra 4i after the break.

  Tegra 4 Tegra 4i
Processor 4+1 4+1
CPU cores ARM Cortex-A15 ARM Cortex-A9-r4
CPU Architecture 1.9 GHz 2.3 GHz
GPU
Custom CPU cores 72 60
Computational Photopgraphy Architecture ("Chimera" Yes Yes
Memory
Memory type DDR3L & LPDDR3 LPDDR3
Memory size 4GB 2GB
Display
LCD 3200 x 2000 1920 x 1200
HDMI 4k (Ultra HD) 1080p
Modem
Architecture Optional LTE Chipset Integrated i500 LTE
LTE Cat 3/Cat 4+CA 100-150 Mbps DL (50 Mbps UL) FDD and TD-LTE, TMs 1-8 Cat 3/Cat 4+CA 100-150 Mbps DL (50 Mbps UL) FDD and TD-LTE, TMs 1-8
HDPA+ Cat 24/6 42 Mbps DL (5.7 Mbps UL) Plus cats 6, 8, 10, 14, 18 Cat 24/6 42 Mbps DL (5.7 Mbps UL) Plus cats 6, 8, 10, 14, 18
TD-HSPA Cat 24/6 4.2 Mbps DL (2.2 Mbps UL) Including TD-SCDMA

Cat 24/6 4.2 Mbps DL (2.2 Mbps UL) Including TD-SCDMA

Package
Package size/Type 23x23 BGA
14x14 FCCSP
12x12 POP
12x12 FCCSP
Process 28 nm 28nm

NVIDIA Introduces Its First Integrated Tegra LTE Processor

Tegra 4i Delivers Highest Performance of Any Single-Chip Smartphone Processor

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—February 19, 2013— NVIDIA today introduced its first fully integrated 4G LTE mobile processor, the NVIDIA® Tegra® 4i, which is significantly faster yet half the size of its nearest competitor.

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 result: an extremely power efficient, compact, highperformance
mobile processor that enables smartphone performance and capability previously available only in expensive super 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 is the most efficient, highest performance CPU core on the market.

“Tegra 4i is the very latest SoC solution based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and demonstrates the ability of ARM and our partners to continue to push the performance of technology and create exciting user experiences,” says Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, processor division, ARM. “ARM and NVIDIA worked closely to further
optimize the Cortex-A9 processor to drive performance and efficiency in areas such as streaming and responsiveness. This is an example of the collaboration and innovation that enables ARM technology-based solutions to be market drivers through multiple generations of SoC solutions.”

Utilizing the same architecture as Tegra 4’s GPU, Tegra 4i features five times the number of GPU cores of Tegra 3 for high-quality, console-quality gaming experiences and full 1080p HD displays. 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.

''NVIDIA’s Tegra 4i appears to outperform the leading integrated LTE chip significantly, and also benefits from an integrated ‘soft-modem’ that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and air interfaces – something other modem vendors can only dream of,” said Stuart Robinson, director, Handset Component Technologies Program at
Strategy Analytics.”

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.

NVIDIA also introduced its “Phoenix” reference smartphone platform for the Tegra 4i processor to demonstrate its unique mobile technologies. Phoenix is a blueprint that phone makers can reference in designing and building future Tegra 4i smartphones to help get them to market quicker.

 

Reader comments

NVIDIA announces Tegra 4i with integrated LTE modem

3 Comments

So it's basically a Tegra 3i+, Tegra 3.5i, etc. Not Cortex A15, but slightly upgraded Cortex A9 with a GPU similar to Tegra 4. The max RAM for Tegra 4 in that chart makes you wonder how much will be in Project Shield.

Agree that Tegra 4i is more like Tegra3i but 2.3GHZ is a pretty high clock speed. That's like a 800mhz advantage over the 1.5GHZ SoCs currently on the market. Some sacrifices had to be made in the architecture to keep die size down I suppose. They probably also had a hard time hitting the required power envelop for phones with an A15 style core. I think 4GB is plenty for games on ARM even Ouya and Project Shield, at least for this generation. Have you guys noticed that Tegra4 hasn't had any design wins announced yet? Alot of people seem to be going the Snapdragon 600/800 route and bypassing Tegra4.