NVIDIA Tegra 4i software update adds LTE-Advanced speeds

NVIDIA's Tegra 4i appeared in February boasting, amongst other things, its built-in Cat. 3 LTE modem capable of speeds as high as 100Mbps. What NVIDIA didn't make obvious at the time was that the i500 modem, the fruit of its Icera acquisition, had the processing grunt to enable a software modem update to boost its speed to Cat. 4 LTE (150Mbps.) We had a quick visit with NVIDIA and saw a "perfect world demo" (pic above) of the device being bombarded at 150Mbps as well as placing an actual call on AT&T's network and streaming video. Of course LTE-Advanced doesn't exist in the real world yet, nor does a real handset sporting this chip, though seeing another player battling incumbent Qualcomm in this space before these networks have even been lit up certainly warms our hearts. Check the PR text for all the nitty gritty details after the break.

Brad Molen contributed to this report.

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NVIDIA's mobile processor for mainstream smartphones – Tegra 4i, which includes an integrated NVIDIA i500 LTE modem, chewed through 150Mbps of LTE data in a demo this week at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas.

First shown at Mobile World Congress in February at Cat 3 100mbps, this Tegra 4i demo is fully based on a software update – no new hardware, no new processor. This showcases the adaptability and flexibility of NVIDIA's software-defined radio technology.

Speed to Burn: Tegra 4i chewed through 150 Mbps of data in a demo at CTIA this week.

An additional advantage of the technology is its tiny size. Because the modem is designed with general purpose Deep Execution Processors (DXP), it's 40 percent the size of a conventional LTE modem. The benefit is a fast, high performance, adaptable modem in a tiny footprint.

Tegra 4i's modem is also multi-mode. It delivers 4G LTE Advanced and is backward compatible so it can offer LTE Cat 3, 3G, and 2G. That means it will work even where LTE networks aren't available. Other LTE Advanced features will be coming soon in software.

The CTIA demo used a tester which emulates an LTE Cat 4 network because live local LTE Cat 4 networks don't exist yet. In this demo Phoenix – the Tegra 4i reference smartphone – is connected to the tester and shows 150 Mbps.

We also demonstrated Phoenix running on a live AT&T LTE network – showing video streaming over LTE and voice calls. It's a great proof point of our strong progress in Tegra 4i modem stability and performance.