Quad-core processors have not yet been combined with 4G LTE insmartphones, but that could change soon. Nvidia on Thursday said a quad-core Tegra 3 chip and a third-partyLTE modem will be used in the Fujitsu Arrows X LTE phone, whichwill come to Japan in "summer." A company spokesperson could notprovide a specific date, and further details of the smartphone werenot immediately available. Nvidia's own Icera 410 LTE modem was also approved for use on theAT&T wireless network in the U.S., paving the way forsmartphones with quad-core chips and LTE modems. Nvidia and Qualcomm are the only companies that offer a package ofquad-core processors and LTE modems for smartphones, but thetechnologies have not yet been paired. For example, HTC's One Xsmartphone is offered with a quad-core processor in the non-LTEvariant, but with a dual-core processor in the LTE variant. |
ZTEoffers the Ascend D Quad smartphone with a quad-core processor, butthe handset does not support LTE. LTE will offer fast download speeds and quicker access to websites,and quad-core chips speed up smartphone performance. But there havebeen troubles matching the two technologies together, with one ofthe issues being smartphone battery life, said Jim McGregor, anindustry analyst. "When you add more cores, you should be able to do things fasterand shut down cores.
That's theoretically," McGregor said. "But theminute 4G kicks in, it's the same old theory: You run somethingfaster, you're going to run out of power." Some of those issues could be resolved as chip circuitry getssmaller and LTE modems are integrated in processors over the comingyears, McGregor said. Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chips integrate 3G/4G inside the chip,and the company has said its quad-core chips will be used in LTEphones in the future. Nvidia's Icera 410 LTE modem isn'tintegrated, and a company spokesman said the part is best suitedfor tablets and clamshell devices.
Nvidia's integrated Tegraprocessor with a CPU and modem is coming in 2013, and that chipwill go into devices such as tablets and smartphones. Smartphone chip supplier Texas Instruments has opted not to provide quad-core chips for smartphones because of cost and heat concerns. Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductorsfor IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh . Agam's e-mail address is email@example.com.
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