More NVIDIA Icera i500 Details - 28nm HP, Category 3 LTE At Launch, 4 Laterby Brian Klug on January 7, 2013 4:01 AM EST
We've confirmed some more details about NVIDIA's newly-announced Icera i500 Soft Modem. First, the Icera i500 is built on TSMC's 28nm HP (High Performance) High-K Metal Gate process. NVIDIA's strategy with i500 is to take advantage of the lower active power compared to LP and power gate the core entirely while the modem is not active. In addition, NVIDIA claims i500 can actively power gate each of the individual 8 processing cores inside as load conditions change or depending on the software package loaded onto the modem.
The i500 soft modem will also be paired with an entirely new transceiver, built on 65nm LP CMOS, I'm told this isn't TSMC's RF CMOS but rather some other "RF-friendly" 65nm process. In addition NVIDIA's target is a similar number of ports to Qualcomm, 7, before adding switches. I didn't get a high/mid/low band breakdown.
Initially i500 will be capable of UE Category 3 LTE (100 Mbps downlink on 20 MHz FDD-LTE) and a later release will enable UE Category 4 LTE, which is one of the nice software upgradeable parts of an SDR architecture. On the WCDMA/HSPA+ side, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mbps downlink) is supported. I'm told that the initial 3GPP release will be 9, and later 10 with LTE Category 4 and carrier aggregation for LTE. i500 at present I'm told includes 3GPP family air interfaces (GSM/EDGE/WCDMA/LTE), no word on CDMA2000 1x/EVDO 3GPP2 suite making it. Voice modes including VoLTE are indeed supported as well.