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NVIDIA looks to strengthen its position in the mobile sectors with Tegra 4

With smartphones and tablets taking over the computing world and putting traditional PCs and notebooks on the back burner, a number of companies are jockeying for position to deliver the highest performing SOCs on the market. NVIDIA has been in this game for a while with its Tegra line of processors, and its most recent Tegra 3 has scored a slew of design wins over the past year.
NVIDIA is looking to build upon that success with its next generation Tegra 4. While we're sure that NVIDIA was looking to surprise everyone at CES, most of the details on the new chip leaked in mid-December. The Cortex-A15-based Tegra 4 is built on a 28nm process, continues the 4+1 design (quad-core + companion core), and features 72 NVIDIA GeForce GPU cores.

NVIDIA says that the move to 28nm help the Tegra 4 consumer 45 percent less power than its predecessor and would allow mainstream phones to deliver 14 hours of continues HD video content.
However, Tegra 4 doesn't have integrated LTE onboard. Instead, NVIDIA is hyping up its optional Icera i500 processor for LTE functionality. Although the move to 28nm is likely to improve battery life across the board, not having LTE integrated on-chip isn't going to do it any favors either.
We’re likely to see a number of Tegra 4-based products at CES, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed of the ones that really catch our eye.

Source: NVIDIA

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What no LTE on die means...
By nafhan on 1/7/2013 11:15:02 AM , Rating: 2
No LTE on-die means this is absolutely not a cell phone chip; it's for tablets/laptops. 4 X A15 is already a pretty good indicator of that (4 A15's is a LOT of heat), but a separate chip for LTE pretty much verifies that to be the case.

By aegisofrime on 1/7/2013 11:37:13 AM , Rating: 2
When I see the power consumption figures for the Exynos 5250 it's pretty scary... 3W usage on the Nexus 10! But then again Nvidia claims that the Tegra 4 will consume even less power than the Tegra 3. I'm looking forward to an indepth Anandtech article on the Tegra 4. I'm really interested in the die size of 28nm A15 vs 32nm A9...

RE: What no LTE on die means...
By theapparition on 1/7/2013 1:24:58 PM , Rating: 3
No LTE on-die means this is absolutely not a cell phone chip

Not entirely the case. They could always add a LTE chip to the design.

There's actually a lot of benefits as it enables a designer to pick the best performing LTE silicon available, in the proper frequency bands, etc. and stay processor agnostic.

For example, Qualcomm's LTE embedded design isn't fully compatible with all LTE implementations around the globe. In those instances, you have to use something else with 3rd party LTE design.

Drawbacks are extra space and generally higher power requirements. Engineering is always an exercise in compromise.

RE: What no LTE on die means...
By chmilz on 1/7/2013 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
That software programmable communication chip is probably bigger news than Tegra 4, we just don't know it yet.

RE: What no LTE on die means...
By nafhan on 1/7/2013 5:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
True. I don't have any inside info or anything. :) I do think that's something that will make it's usage less likely. I'm very much looking forward to third party reviews.

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