Apr 25 AT 11:14 AM Taylor Wimberly 38 Comments

Tegra 3+ to bring 1.7 GHz CPU, 1080p displays, 25% faster GPU, and LTE to phones


NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 has been one of the fastest mobile processors on the market since it debuted last year, but it is now seeing increased competition form Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 and Samsung’s upcoming Exynos 4412. We already know that NVIDIA is working on their next generation of chips codenamed Wayne (Tegra 4), but those are not expected to appear in devices until the tail end of 2012 or early 2013.

Right now NVIDIA still wins 100% of the “marketing benchmarks” with their quad-core processor, but how will they continue to remain competitive and pick up design wins for the remainder of the year?

Last week at a HTC event in Seattle, Michael Rayfield, GM of NVIDIA’s mobile business unit, shared some new details on the Tegra roadmap.

Mr. Rayfield confirmed previous leaks that NVIDIA was preparing a Tegra 3+ part for the middle of 2012. He didn’t go into many details on how the chip would differ from Tegra 3, but he did say it would be a significant bump.

One thing that was talked about was support for LTE networks. Many sites have incorrectly reported that Tegra 3 was not “LTE ready”, but it’s actually the modem suppliers that are behind. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE used the previous generation Tegra 2 and ZTE already announced a Tegra 3 phone with LTE support, so we know Tegra works with LTE networks

The problem is that LTE networks are only widely popular in the United States, so most modem partners have not brought their LTE solutions to the market yet. Qualcomm is currently the leader in LTE modems, but they have no interest in working with their competitor NVIDIA and supplying them modems for Tegra devices.

Thankfully, things will change in the second half of the year. NVIDIA says that  GCT Semiconductor, Renesas Mobile, and ST-Ericsson are all working on LTE modems that will work with Tegra 3 chips.

Thanks to a document leaked by VR-Zone, we are now learning additional details about Tegra 3+, which has the model number AP37. The new chip should boast CPU speeds up to 1.7 GHz, feature 25% faster graphics, and have support for 1920×1200 display. Keep in mind this is a smartphone chip, so it makes those rumors of 1080p smartphone displays in 2012 sound more believable.

We don’t know exactly when Tegra 3+ smartphones will appear in market or which handset maker will produce them, but we could possibly hear announcements as soon as next month at CTIA. If that show comes and goes with no news, we could hear more details at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference on May 17th.


Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • G

    So that’s almost as much processing power as my macbook air. IN-SANE

  • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

    This will be a great shift. It’s a shame it couldn’t happen soon enough to keep nvidia in the US versions of the HTC one series phones. The lack of tegra zone will surely be missed.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I’m still thinking the quad-core One X will appear on T-Mobile in late summer.

      • thaghost

        I really hope so. Im considering leaving tmobile but if they get the One X in white, i will stay.

      • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

        You know, that wouldn’t surprise me. T-Mobile has long been a leader in android phones, and have offered some of the best. The problem is their network. It’s regional sized stretched to a national area, leaving many many holes. And even the greatest phone can’t overcome a weak network.

      • WlfHart

        That would be nice!

      • Nory82688

        I really hope that happens! I would sell my galaxy nexus so fast to get the one x with tegra3 . The one s on tmo is a nice phone , but just doesn’t replace the one x . And now I’m used to bigger screen real estate,so the one s just wouldn’t cut it.

      • Galen20K

        the White Quad core One X on T-Mobile or the Galaxy S3 “possibly white” on T-Mobile will be my next phone. I think they both may come out around August/September which would work fine for me. But who knows, they could release them even sooner with any luck! – )

      • Anjie Cai


  • redraider133

    Finally they got tegra playing nice with LTE. Can’t wait to see what they bring and how these perform.

  • Bryan Stoner


    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      A15 is coming in Wayne/Tegra 4

  • bellken

    smart phones and, super phones, I hope they can squeeze out more battery life for these.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Each generation of Tegra has used less power than the previous gen. This trend should continue.

  • ericl5112

    1080p? When they were first talking about Tega 3 MWC 2011, they were talking about 2560*1440 displays. When do those come out? I want some real high res displays.

    • spazby

      will you be able to benefit from that resolution on a 4-5 inch screen? Not sure it will be a big jump for a phone but tablet – different story

      • ericl5112

        Of course for a tablet.

  • bellken

    I am also surprised to read that the US is leader in LTE adoption. Hopefully, the deployment of LTE becomes more widespread, so, that, we can see more resources devoted to making LTE more efficient.

  • Jake Gall

    Well we couldn’t have had counted nvidia out for too long, they are the industry leader in gpu tech, so it only makes sense that they where working on something, while everyone else was releasing their own gpu/CPU, just wait till Intel jumps in on this.

  • YMS123

    Specs of the chip are impressive , if they can only get it to the market fast enough

  • Lo

    1080p? Probably for tablets then. No reason for a phone to have it.

  • RoRo

    its a shame you dont see as much dedication to bring better battery life.

    • SGB101

      Sadly batteries are boring

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      NVIDIA’s 4-PLUS-1 architecture was designed with battery life in mind. That’s why they have a dedicated 5th power saving core to conserve power when your device is idle.

  • Nate B.

    As good as it sounds, I have a feeling phones are going to start coming out with slight bumps just to have these features. Like a slightly bumped up X, you know motor will do it, and whatever else.

  • Max.Steel

    The Exynos were never known for the high clock speeds or their overclocking abilities due to Samsung process and architecture : you can hardly get the exynos over 1,5ghz while the Qualcomm couterpart exceed 2ghz qu’en pushed, so a 1,8ghz Exynos doesn’t make sens at all especially in a smartphone form factor at best the SGSIII will have a 1,5 GHz and that knowing that again Samsung will use a 32nm process compared to the 28nm on krait and tegra4.

    As for Exynos 4412 being the fastest SoC this season, that I call just fanboyism, the 4412 wont come close to the S4 in It Quadcore variant not to to mention that the latter will be clocked higher than the Exynos as always with à release date just after the S3 , and the Tegra 4 will turn circles around the Exynos but that wont be released anytime soon.

    • Dan G

      I call bullshit on your statement in general, first off even the mali-400 outperforms the current tegra 3 gpu, and adreno 220. Second the Galaxy SII more than holds its own against the tegra 3 despite being more than a year older.

      Second I don’t think its fair to compare the Tegra 4 with the 4412. The real comparison would be the 5250, which is also based on the ARM 15 Process, and will likely destroy the Tegra 4′s in GPU and CPU performance.

      Say what you want about Samsung, but their Processors and GPU selection are far in away the best, possibly only being rivaled by the A series from apple.

  • Nathan D.

    this news make my prime look slow, but it still a beast though.

  • SydneyBlue120d

    I wonder if with Key Lime Pie successor Nvidia will finally be able to release something with kernel newer than 2.6 or if they will stay there forever :)

  • Ben

    Is there any possibility to see the Tegra3+ chip on the Asus Infinity Pad?

  • Cristiano Malibu

    No matter who is faster. The truth is that when Nvidia entered the mobile phone industry, it created a gap between it and other companies. This generated a speed of research and development in all big companies and we hang out who wins. The evolution has been very fast!

  • http://www.bossyman15.com Adam Clark

    I think I’ll wait for Batman.

  • mkrmec

    Samsungs Exynos breathing down your neck aaa nVidia… Exynos 4212 kill this processor, I don’t even wanna mention Exynos 5250 or even 5450…

  • Jaredstilley

    The power of nvidia

  • android.fa.life

    wow these processors are getting outrageous why cant they outperform current gen consoles yet?

  • semitope

    1080p to phones? Why? lol. Sounds nice though. Wouldn’t mind that on a tablet

    • mhmmd

      that’s very good l want thes in my phone

  • RaphaniacZX

    Yup, it’s name is One X+, just announced :)