Feeling the pinch from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4, Samsung’s Exynos 4412, and other SoC debutants, Nvidia plans to follow up its quad-core Tegra 3 processor with a Tegra 3+ this year. The news was revealed by Nvidia general manager Mike Rayfield during a tech conference in Seattle. Speaking to PC World, Rayfield stated that the Tegra 3+ will be “a pretty significant bump” from its predecessor and “it’ll be high performance.”
But that’s not all that Nvidia has up its sleeve. An updated version of Tegra 3 will come with an integrated LTE modem, which would open the lucrative North American mobile market to Nvidia. Rayfield said that the current Tegra 3 could actually play nice with an LTE modem; it’s just that “the guy who has LTE isn’t all that excited about working with me.” This is, of course, a dig at Qualcomm, one the world’s biggest LTE modems producers, which happens to be Nvidia’s competitor in the mobile chip front. Phones and tablets sporting the new Tegra 3 chip with built-in LTE, according to Rayfield, will come in Q3 2012.
The LTE incompatibility issue of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 has been one of the major stumbling blocks for the 4-plus-1 CPU in the US. This, however, didn’t stop phone and tablet makers from utilizing the chip, as it can be seen powering the Asus Transformer Prime, the upcoming Asus Transformer Pad 300, Acer Iconia Tab A510, the international version of HTC OneX, and others.
Since Rayfield didn’t mention a timeline for the release of the Tegra 3+ chip, which won’t really be its final name, we wonder where it will fit in with Nvidia’s “Wayne” and “Grey” series. The two were revealed back in 2011 in Nvidia’s Tegra roadmap, with an expected release date of Q1 and Q3 2013.