Two Modems, 20 Months

Today, we rolled out not one but two modem products – including our first quad-core mobile processor integrated with LTE capabilities to ship into the market.

Tegra 4 Family

The result of our acquisition of Icera 20 months ago, these launches are evidence of one of the fastest, most successful mergers the IT industry has ever seen.

Our first product, the NVIDIA i500 LTE modem, was previewed at CES and officially announced today. It will help power high-end phones and tablets.

Our second product, introduced today, is the NVIDIA Tegra 4i processor, which integrates Tegra 4 with the i500 modem in a chip half the size of its nearest competitor. Tegra 4i will bring super phone capabilities to the mainstream smartphone market, and there will be nothing on the market like it.

The 20 months it took for NVIDIA and Icera to churn out these combined products is half what’s usually required after a merger.

That’s partly because we share an aggressive, nimble startup culture. It’s partly because there was no overlap between our technologies. And it’s partly because  Icera had a strong, established industry position – it had been offering modems since 2005, when it entered a field dominated by a single vendor and captured a broad following with the market’s best 3G mobile broadband devices.

What I really want to focus on is the extraordinary technology Icera brought to NVIDIA through the merger. Simply put, the i500 modem is a marvel. Here’s why:

Performance efficiency. Icera has unique soft modem technology which implements the entire modem baseband in software. This approach is particularly suited to the modem due to the adaptive nature of the wireless cellular environment. It allows the modem to dynamically allocate more processing resources to the most challenging processing functions required at any given time, making it much more efficient than traditional hardware-centric implementations.

Agility. Our unique soft modem implementation enables us to respond exceptionally quickly to market requirements for new features and performance enhancements. Rather than redesigning the chip (a costly, time-consuming experience), updates can be made by merely updating the software.

Roadmap longevity. The roadmap of Icera’s modem can be extended through software updates providing feature upgrades and performance enhancements. This is even more beneficial for SoCs (where the modem is integrated with the applications processor) by delivering the cost-reduction benefits the SoC brings without having to compromise on feature capabilities and performance enhancements.

A great way to get a sense of the soft modem’s capabilities is by checking out the ASUS VivoTab Windows RT tablet. It’s equipped with our first-generation LTE multi-mode modem, the i410. It is also the first device to ship with a quad-core applications processor and an LTE modem from the same vendor.

The i410 is now certified for use on AT&T’s LTE multi-mode network and is a testament to the capabilities of the soft modem architecture. It’s been an ideal foundation for the i500, our second-generation LTE modem, which has more than five times the computational capacity of its predecessor. It’s been designed for global LTE multi-mode deployment and means we’re able to deliver a compelling solution for high-end and mainstream devices globally.

Check out the specs of our two new modems:

NVIDIA i500

NVIDIA Tegra 4i

Air Interface

GSM/EDGE

Yes

Yes

WCDMA

Yes

Yes

TD-SCDMA

Yes

Yes

FDD LTE

Yes

Yes

TDD LTE

Yes

Yes

3GPP Release

Rel 9

Yes

Yes

Rel 10 LTE-A (Carrier Aggregation)

Yes

Yes

HSPA+ Category

Cat 24 DC-HSPA+ 42Mbps

Yes

Yes

Interference Cancellation

Yes

Yes

LTE

Cat 3 20Mhz 100/50Mbps DL/UL

Yes

Yes

Cat 4 20MHz 150/50Mbps DL/UL

Yes

Yes

Carrier Aggregation

Yes

Yes

MIMO 2 x 2

Yes

Yes

MIMO 4 x 2

Yes

Yes

2G Voice

FR, HR, EFR, WB-AMR

Yes

Yes

3G Voice

3G NB-AMR

Yes

Yes

3G WB-AMR

Yes

Yes

LTE Voice

CSFB

Yes

Yes

VoLTE with SRVCC

Yes

Yes

Multi MIC AEC NR

Yes

Yes

Package

Process Technology

28nm

28nm

Package Size

7×7

12×12

Apps Processor

Integrated AP

No

Yes

RF

Primary RX ports

8

8

Related material: Previous generation Icera products

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    nicenice first!

  • SUMIT RAJ

    smart chip …. eager to see mobile using this…

  • I am dying to see a mobile with Tegra 4i… 
    Can’t wait to see this at MWC! 

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  • Sagar Rawal

    Fantastic…this should give NVIDIA the competitive edge it needs against Qualcomm.

  • Tegra 4i is as same as the Tegra 4? Don’t think so, Cortex-A15 vs. A9 in the Project Grey (4i) is a generation of difference. Tegra 4i is Tegra 3 on stereoids.