updated 12:27 pm EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Software-defined modem hits 150Mbps speed without hardware changes
Nvidia has updated its latest mobile chipset with support for Category 4 LTE connectivity. Tegra 4i, similar to Tegra 4 but includes an integrated Nvidia i500 LTE modem, managed to upgrade from Category 3 and its 100Mbps connection to LTE-Advanced and a possible 150Mps speed, without performing any changes to the hardware.
The upgrade was accomplished with changes in software alone. The i500 LTE modem is a software-defined radio that uses Deep Execution Processors, and so was able to be changed without altering anything to it or Tegra 4i at all physically. The use of a software-defined modem also allows it to take up far less space in the chipset itself, allowing more room for other components.
Demonstrations at the CTIA event in Las Vegas shows Tegra 4i working on an LTE-Advanced network at 150Mbps, though emulated due to the lack of live networks using such Category 4 connections. The Phoenix Tegra 4i smartphone is also being demonstrated on a live AT&T LTE network, in order to show off the performance and stability of the software modem when used for voice calls and video streaming.