NVIDIA calls it quits in developing LTE modems

NVIDIA calls it quits in developing LTE modems
When it comes to building mobile devices with cellular connectivity, the go-to technology resource is almost exclusively Qualcomm and its long product list of systems-on-a-chip. MediaTek, Samsung, and Intel have been bolstering their operations to compete with the San Diego giant.

NVIDIA wanted to do the same, and acquired a company called Icera in 2011. Icera had its own designs for LTE modems and NVIDIA was going to leverage that technology to ride the ever-expanding smartphone phenomenon.

Turns out it is quite difficult to compete at the level, and NVIDIA has announced that it is dialing down its Icera operations. Stating that the company “has reshaped its strategy” in order to concentrate on other applications such as, gaming, cloud computing, and “deep learning” applications involving visual computing.

The last CPU from NVIDIA that integrated Icera LTE modems was the Tegra 4i which was announced a little over two years ago and put to use in the ultra-secure Blackphone. Given the relative non-success of NVIDIA’s mobile processors, this draw down from the space will not likely have a significant market impact for Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, or Intel.

Once the current line of Icera 4G/LTE chips run their course, NVIDIA will partner with other suppliers for modem chipsets. How this will affect the 500 or so employees that work in the Icera operations was not announced.

sources: NVIDIA via The Verge

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14 Comments

1. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Interesting...

2. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

I want Nvidia back into the game since their GPU was much better than Adreno series. As a non-Samsung and Apple user, other than Snapdragon powered phones, I can't find any phones with a decent chip on the market. That sucks.

12. Shocky unregistered

nvidia's first attempts unfortunately were not very good but that has certainly changed. We need them back as the current SoC's available are good but just not good enough, you just know that when Apple release the iPhone 6s they will be using a new powervr GPU and will surpass Android devices by a large margin again.

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Nvidia don't give still waiting for your Tegra X1 phone.

6. gaming64 unregistered

X1 is a tablet processor.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True, Nvidia should make a X1m for phones Like how Apple makes the A Series for iPhones/iPad Minis and AX Series for iPad Airs

13. CptPwn

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

Maybe a reduced Tegra X1i, don't think we need all 256 Maxwell cores for a mid-range mobile. Just a thought.

4. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Good Bye Nvidia :(

5. Lamborghini_

Posts: 11; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

RIP Tegra

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Nvidia has called quits for developing LTE modems Doesn't mean Tegra is dead just yet They will most likely continue to make tablet SoCs If they decide to make phone SoCs again then they'll have to add an external LTE modem like the current Exynos chips

14. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

nah. tegra will do just fine. in fact quite well than it was before thanks to automotive (it was one of tegra main market before they enter smartphone/tablet business). and some other company like GE are interested with tegra compute performance. and this is another area where tegra excels.

7. gaming64 unregistered

So sad. The Tegra series had a chance to beat Apple in mobile gaming, especially on the tablet front. Sadly, due to the many Android OEMs slapping Android into a phone, we won't be able to see the potential.

8. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

They're not stopping making the Tegra series, this is just about modems. It just means nVidia will have to put someone else's modems in future Tegras.

11. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

This isn't the end of their SoCs.... this is just modems.

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