May 24, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
NVIDIA announced today that its Icera 410 LTE modem has been validated for operation on the AT&T 4G LTE network. That’s an important distinction because it greatly increases the chance that we’ll see NVIDIA-sourced chips appear in phones and tablets in the U.S. more often.
Fans of the NVIDIA Tegra process were disappointed to learn that the HTC One X would feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 rather than the Tegra 3 that appears in the global GSM version of the phone. That’s because Tegra lacked an LTE-compatible modem for AT&T, which is a no-no now that the three major carriers in the U.S. push towards an all-LTE future.
AT&T’s approval of the Icera 410 increases the possibility that devices that have Tegra in Europe and Asia will also have that processor when they come to the states. Now that companies don’t have to rely on Qualcomm or TI for LTE-compliant modems, they can use NVIDIA chipsets that have proven popular with gamers and tend to be first in the wave of multi-core devices.
“Validation with AT&T is an achievement that paves the way for NVIDIA Icera-powered LTE devices on the AT&T network through this year and next,” – Stan Boland, senior vice president of Mobile Communications at NVIDIA.
There’s no guarantee that they will choose NVIDIA, however. Efficiency and costs will influence decisions, but at least there’s a chance now. Now we just have to see how quickly Icera gains approval on the other LTE networks in the United States.