An improved version of Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoS will be available in 3Q12 and capable of working alongside current LTE modems.
On Thursday Michael Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia’s mobile business unit, confirmed during HTC's Frequencies conference in Seattle that the company plans to release an upgraded Tegra 3 SoC later this year in 3Q12.
A Tegra roadmap displayed during the conference named the new "Wayne" chip as "T3+" or "Tegra 3+," although that will not be the official title when the chip ships to device manufacturers later this year. Rayfield indicated that the SoC will bring better performance to smartphones and tablets, but it won't feature the integrated LTE modem as reported earlier this year.
"It'll be high performance," Rayfield said. "It's a pretty significant bump."
The specs for "Wayne" include a 28-nm quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore plus an additional low power companion core (4-PLUS-1), clocked at 1.8 GHz for tablets and notebooks. Also thrown into the mix will be 24 GPU cores with support for DirectX 11.x, OpenGL 4.x and PhysX. This chip will work alongside 3rd-party LTE modems (the current Kal-El Tegra 3 can't), maybe even ones provided by SoC competitor Qualcomm if they can stand to be with each other on the same device
"In the third quarter we'll start to see numerous models that are LTE shipped with Tegra 3," Rayfield said.
As for the Tegra/Icera LTE modem combo, that chip will be called "Grey" (Tegra+LTE?) and is expected to launch sometime around 1Q13, maybe sooner. The 28-nm chip will come packed with a quad-core ARM Coretex-A9 and an additional low power companion core. It will also have the Icera LTE100/HSPA42 baseband modem.
A recent spec list leak hints that "Wayne" may be available in three flavors this fall: a 1.8 GHz "flagship" version, a 2.0 GHz "flagship" version, and one clocked between 1.2 and 1.8 GHz for "mainstream" devices. We expect to see a more formal announcement regarding "Wayne" sometime soon, so stay tuned.