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NVIDIA announced its new Tegra 4i SoC codenamed Grey with dedicated LTE chip

NVIDIA unveils new Tegra 4i processor for mobile phones

Nvidia has unveiled its new processor for mobile phones called Tegra SoC 4i, which is previously known as Project Grey. It is a variant of Tegra 4 extended for the mobile device market, specifically Smartphone. Tegra 4i codenamed as Grey is similar to Tegra 4 Wayne in the fact that both are a Quad-core SoC based on ARM’s 28nm processors, but different. Tegra 4 is based on four Cortex-A15 core and has extra energy savings, whereas Tegra 4i is powered by new ARM Cortex-A9 R4 CPU jointed developed by ARM and NVIDIA. Moreover, it is considered as ARM’s most efficient CPU core.

What’s new in Tegra 4i processor?

In terms of GPU, Tegra 4 has 72 cores, whereas Tegra 4i has a graphics GPU with 60 cores. Moreover Tegra 4i is a smaller chip with unified design around 1.15 mm2 compared to 2.7mm2 of Tegra 4. Moreover, Tegra 4i is the first GPU of Nvidia to integrate dedicated chip for LTE called i500 Soft Modem chip. The i500 is a full LTE modem that supports all Tegra powered device as a separate but complementary chipset. i500 is also voice enabled with VoLTE support and CS-FB voice modes with 8 primary Rx ports. So any device with Tegra 4i will have immediate compatibility for LTE networks

The new Tegra 4i compared to the older Tegra 3 has five times the number of GPU cores that is expected to provide high-quality gaming experiences and full 1080p HD displays. Tegra 4i mobile processor has excellent camera capabilities with Chimera Computational Photography Architecture. It was recently announced with Tegra 4 and it is said to deliver advanced features including always-on HDR capabilities.

Tegra 4i also includes full support for Category 3 LTE at launch, with a later upgrade to Category 4, along with support for 10 MHz + 10 MHz LTE carrier aggregation. In addition it will also include support for 3GPP suite of air interfaces, WCDMA / HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps, TD-SCDMA, and GSM/EDGE. It will also have support for both 2×2 MIMO and 4×4 MIMO transmission modes on LTE.

Following is a table that shows difference between Nvidia Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i

Tegra 4i processor reference Smartphone

With Tegra 4, Nvidia had mainly focussed high-performance smartphones and tablets, whereas with Tegra 4i, it will mainly focus on mid-range smartphone without sacrificing too much performance and trying to retain most of the features of Tegra 4. NVIDIA developed a reference phone called “Phoenix” to show how to integrate Tegra 4i on mobile phones. We should remember that it is only a reference model for manufacturers such as HTC, LG and ZTE and hence will not be available for sale.

Tegra 4i is the very latest SoC solution based on ARM Cortex-A9 processor. ARM and Nvidia has worked close to further optimise Cortex-A9 processor to drive performance and efficiency in terms of streaming and responsiveness. It is expected that Nvidia Tegra 4i will be announced at Mobile World Congress 2013, which is to be held between January 25 and 28 at Barcelona.