It seems that Qualcomm has a free hand to rule the high performance tablet and smartphone market this year. Nvidia’s own Cortex A15 based design won’t be coming this year after all.
Sure Samsung might have something to say about Qualcomm’s SnapDragon S4 Pro with the company’s Exynos 5 processors, but the Korean giant seems to be still working a dual core Cortex A15. Qualcomm has already sent its SnapDragon S4 Pro platform to select hardware reviewers and Samsung’s choice of a quad core Cortex A9 design for the Galaxy SIII phone seem to be proof that they’re not ready with the A15 generation of CPUs. Nvidia has just announced the LTE certification by AT&T of the company’s first 4G modem and now is getting ready to pair this chip with their upgraded Tegra 3+ processor.
Unfortunately this is about all we’ll be able to get from the California based IC designer this year. Those that were hoping for a late 2012 Tegra 4 launch are in for a disappointment. Tegra 4 will only come in mid-2013 and all we will be able to get before that is the Grey chip. Nvidia Grey is likely the complete integration of the Icera 410 modem with the impending Tegra 3+. This chip will likely start shipping early next year spurring a heap of “long battery life” marketing slogans as that’s the most important addition it will be able to offer.
Being a single chip solution, Grey will also help Nvidia offer a cost competitive solution that, later in the year will most likely roam the mid-range market. For the high-end, Nvidia will pair the Icera 500 100 megabit LTE modem with the Cortex A15 based Tegra 4 built on TSMC’s 28 nm manufacturing process.