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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:41

Delayed Tegra 4 now aims at tablets

Written by Fuad Abazovic

Tegra 4i is reserved for phones

There is no doubt that Tegra 4 is very late indeed. This promising 28nm A15 chip had its fair share of difficulties and it has been said that the chip will start shipping in Q2 2013. We have clarified this and it turns out that Nvidia hopes to see some products based on Tegra 4 before the end of June 2013.

There have been some rumors that Project Shield is among the first to show and we expect to see more about this interesting new console before Computex, or end of May 2013. It turns out that Tegra 4 is now targeting tablets, as it can offer a lot of performance in many upcoming tablets. Tegra 4 will be there on time for back to school and therefore will end up with a few key tablet designs, but not the new Nexus 7 as we already reported. A lot of big manufacturers had successful tablets based on Tegra 2 and 3 chips and they should continue the tradition.

Tegra 4 will land some phone designs, but it has missed the most important spring update cycle as it is evident that top 2013 phones including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One won't be using any of Nvidia's chips. We are aware that Samsung has its own chip but it also uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 for some markets. However, HTC used NV chips in the One X.

The chip was simply too late to market and alternatives had to be found. Qualcomm integrated modem made a better sense for most USA based phones we hear as network provider still prefer all integrated solutions. China and most of Asia don’t really care about LTE support and therefore there will be a few Tegra 4 based phones for the Chinese market.

Tegra 4i on the other hand is the new kid on the block. Some big phone makers are already designing phones based on this chip and the early work will become evident early next year, probably at CES 2014 in January. It is critical to be on time next time around, as Nvidia missed the gravy train for lucrative phone update cycle deals this year. We can only hope that things will go a bit smoother with next generation parts.

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