Today NVIDIA announced that their Icera 410 LTE multimode data modem was successfully validated by AT&T for operation on its 4G LTE network. This modem is designed for tablets and clamshell devices, but it’s an important step for NVIDIA that could lead to Icera LTE modems appearing in Tegra-powered smartphones.
“Validation with AT&T is an achievement that paves the way for NVIDIA Icera-powered LTE devices on the AT&T network through this year and next,” said Stan Boland, senior vice president of Mobile Communications at NVIDIA.
NVIDIA released their quad-core Tegra 3 chip last year, but you won’t find it inside any mobile devices at US carrier stores yet. The issue is that most US carriers are now demanding LTE connectivity, and the few modem providers that have gained approval to operate on these LTE networks (namely Qualcomm) are not interested in working with NVIDIA.
That should change in the second half of the year as NVIDIA releases their own LTE modem and the leading suppliers of cellular silicon solutions release additional LTE modems that will work with Tegra 3.
Later this year we expect NVIDIA to reveal a newer chip called Tegra 3+ that should work with the latest LTE modems from GCT Semiconductor, Renesas Mobile, and ST-Ericsson. We also expect NVIDIA to release another chip codenamed Grey in early 2013, which will be their first Tegra chip to integrate an Icera LTE modem.
Head over to NVIDIA’s Icera products page for additional details on their modem lineup.