Nvidia plans to start churning out Shield consoles in Q2 and partners are expected to start producing phones and tablets based on the new chip at about the same time. This means we won’t see any products in retail before the latter half of Q2 at the earliest, while some might appear in Q3. As for 4G tablets using the Icera i500 modem, they are being certified by carriers as we speak and they should go into production in Q4.
Tegra 4i should get certified by carriers in Q2, but the first phones should enter production in Q1 2014. Nvidia describes Tegra 4i phones as “mainstream” phones, which means they should end up rather cheap. At this point it is not easy to say how T4i chips will measure up to the competition, as we have no idea what Qualcomm and Samsung have lined up for next year.
Although it’s not an A15 chip, the Tegra 4i is still a rather interesting piece of silicon. It’s Nvidia’s first chip with integrated LTE and it should end up tiny, less than half of the size of Tegra 4, and that’s with an LTE modem on the die. In terms of power consumption, T4i should have a TDP of up to 1W, while the burly Tegra 4 hits 5W, sans modem. With four A9r4 cores clocked north of 2GHz and a 60-core GPU, the T4i should be quite snappy, despite the fact that it’s not an A15 part.
However, although it looks good on paper right now, we still have no idea what the competition will come up with over the next nine months.