NVIDIA today announced its new Tegra 4i processor. It is NVIDIA’s first high-performance, low power-consuming quad-core apps processor with an integrated LTE modem that is aimed squarely at the smartphone/superphone market.

On paper at least, the Tegra 4i out-performs Qualcomm's latest industry-leading chips in most apps processor measurements but, most importantly for NVIDIA, it also benefits from an integrated “soft-modem” that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and new air interfaces; something that most other modem vendors can currently only dream of. 

Finally, it’s designed to meet the demanding needs of nascent smartphone features like HDR video capture and FPS mobile gaming, yet its fifth “companion core” ensures extremely low power consumption in less demanding situations.

For a more detailed assessment of the T4i, as it might become known, read Sravan Kundojjala's blog post.

This is NVIDIA's second major chip announcement in two months; their first was the "Tegra 4" announced at CES in January, but the two chips are very different. While the Tegra 4 has quad-core R4 A15, 72 GPU cores and no modem, the Tegra 4i has quad-core R4 A9, 60 GPU cores and an integrated LTE soft modem. Both are high performance chips but the Tegra 4 is aimed at high-end non-cellular tablets and superphones, while the Tegra 4i is aimed at high-end smartphones and superphones. Both have NVIDIA's trademark low-power companion core too, of course.

Stuart Robinson