Published in PC Hardware

Nvidia Grey has phone design wins

by on15 February 2013

Mainstream LTE Tegra

Tegra 4 is delayed, which is definitely not good news for Nvidia’s Tegra business, but there is still some good news on the Tegra front. Nvidia’s mainstream LTE chip codenamed Grey, is expected to show up ahead of schedule.

The 28nm A9 chip was expected in the latter part of 2013, but it looks like it might come a bit earlier. We are talking a few months ahead of schedule, not quarters. Grey has already won some design wins with phone manufacturers. It is not meant for high-end phones, this is what Tegra 4 + Icera 500 LTE is for.

Grey should fit nicely into the mainstream performance market, for so-called runner up phones. We have heard that there are some phone designs from big manufacturers based on Grey.

Nvidia always lacked a mainstream SoC and selling its last Tegra generation as a mainstream part didn't really work in the past. Tegra 3 completely overshadowed Tegra 2, and we practically didn’t seen any designs based on Tegra 2 after Tegra 3 showed up.

Nvidia did make some cheaper Tegra 3 versions, like the one used in the Nexus 7 and other entry level products, but having a real dedicated chip for this market will definitely help Nvidia. The future for Grey as a cheaper LTE alternative to Tegra 4 looks good, as long as Nvidia can meet its original schedule.

This chip is also Nvidia’s first crack at integrating a rather complex LTE modem on the core. Let’s see how it goes. Surely it can go a lot smoother than Tegra 4.

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