Nvidia Announces Partnerships To Marry 4G LTE With Its Tegra 3 Mobile Chips

Nvidia announced Thursday partnerships with cellular silicon manufacturers GCT Semiconductor and Renesas Mobile to jointly develop 4G LTE modems with its Tegra 3 mobile processors.

The chip maker said that the move will allow its OEM partners to reduce their time to market with LTE-enabled, Tegra 3-powered mobile devices. The company also said its new alliances will enhance users’ overall mobile experience through faster data access and web browsing, multiplayer gaming options, and "supercharged" app downloads.

According to Nvidia, its Tegra 3 chips are expected to deliver up to 3x the graphics performance of their predecessor Tegra 2, and up to 61 percent lower power consumption.

GCT said its turnkey, pre-integrated 4G platform for OEMs will consist of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 mobile processor and its own LTE GDM7240 single-chip. Renesas Mobile, the other cellular partner announced, said its reference design will couple Tegra 3 with its SP2531 triple mode LTE modem.

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"By combining Nvidia’s excellent graphics and display performance with GCT’s advanced LTE single-chip solution, we believe we can provide a very attractive turnkey design for LTE smartphones and tablets," said Dr. Kyeongho Lee, President and CEO of GCT Semiconductor, in a press statement. "We’re pleased to be working with NVIDIA to advance the 4G ecosystem."

According to the companies, the combined reference model will eliminate the bottleneck mobile device OEMs face when having to seek out two separate suppliers for their products – one for a 4G modem and one for a mobile processor. Their partnerships will enable OEMs to access these components in a single package, meaning go-to-market rates for next-generation, 4G-powered “ultraphones” are accelerated.

4G LTE technology is projected to dominate wireless infrastructure capital spending by 2013, according to market analysts IHS iSuppli, accounting for approximately $24.3 billion and overtaking for the first tiem the 3.5G space. Major service carriers including Verizon and AT&T have revealed plans to ramp up their 4G offerings next year, and T-Mobile just announced Thursday it will invest $4 billion to fund its own "4G evolution effort."