NVIDIA announced a new variant of its quad core Tegra 4 processor for mobile devices that supported LTE dubbed Tegra 4i. This new chip sports 4 cores that the company claimed could clock up to 2.3 GHz and also had an additional core dedicated to battery power conservation and an integrated NVIDIA i500 LTE Modem. Today, we get to hear that the component manufacturing company has made a smartphone powered by this new processor. The new mysterious smartphone is currently named NVIDIA Tegra 4i Android phone, it is 7.9 mm thick and is said to debut sometime in the first quarter of 2014. Could this be a version of the NVIDIA Tegra 4i Phoenix reference phone that the company made back in February?
Our friends at Anandtech were lucky to lay their hands on the new Android smartphone powered by the Tegra 4i processor. The phone sports a 4.8 inch screen with a 720p display and an 8 megapixels rear camera, 4GE LTE and HSPA connectivity support and 1 GB RAM onboard. This may as well pass as a high end phone if its processor indeed is a quad-core and can clock speeds of 2.3 GHz based on other supporting specs. NVIDIA had been in fierce neck-to-neck competition with a Chinese chip maker Qualcomm but when high end smartphones moved on to quad-core LTE chips, NVIDIA took a while to catch up with Qualcomm whose Snapdragon 800 processor powers today’s top Android smartphones.
According to Anandtech, this new mysterious smartphone that NVIDIA was not willing to talk so much about will be retailing at between $300 and $400 when it eventually comes to the stores in the first half of next year. This is a steal considering that most Android smartphones with comparable features such as Sony Xperia Z, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 retail for between $500 and $700 unlocked. NVIDIA is also said to be working on a number of Android smartphones hat will target mid-range users and will retail for about $200 without contract.
Tegra 4i processor details
NVIDIA announced their line of mobile device chipsets a couple of months ago and on the lineup was Tegra 4. The Tegra 4i that the spotted smartphone comes with is specially adapted for smartphones considering its LTE capability and power saving core. However, this chip has its limitations compared to Tegra 4 including support for only 1080 HDMI output where Tegra 4 can support up to 4,000 pixels and a maximum screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 compared to the 3200 x 2000 potential of Tegra 4.
The Tegra 4i processor the handsets sports also packs 60 GPU cores and uses a slightly older architecture compared to the Tegra 4. NVIDIA says that it has worked with ARM in retooling the design of the Tegra 4i processor to make it ‘the most efficient, high performing CPU core in the market’. We can only wait for benchmark tests by independent parties to determine how great this and other NVIDIA processors are.