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icera 500

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NVIDIA Pretty Much Officially Gives Up On Phones: Unit Behind 3G/4G Modems To Be Dismantled, Possibly Sold

After years of unsuccessfully pushing its almost-here software-defined Icera LTE modem, NVIDIA officially announced yesterday that the Icera unit, which it acquired in 2011, would be shutting down. The fate of the 500 employees working on Icera projects at NVIDIA was not announced, but may be in NVIDIA's quarterly earnings call tomorrow.

As recently as two years ago, NVIDIA was still pushing the Icera i500 LTE modem solution as part of its Phoenix Tegra 4i reference design phone platform, which saw adoption that could be counted on a single hand (OK, if the hand had six fingers). I believe ZTE, Xiaomi, and Coolpad were actually the only full-on Tegra 4 phone partners, each with a single, limited-run 3G phone that didn't even use Icera modems.

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NVIDIA: Expect 30 Tegra 3 Phones By The End Of 2012, Integrated LTE Modems In Early 2013

There's no denying that the Tegra 3-powered HTC One X is one of the hottest phones on the market right now, and NVIDIA general manager Mike Rayfield told analysts this afternoon to look for twenty-nine more to be available before the end of the year. We know that LG's Optimus 4x HD will be one of those, but past that, the sky's the limit. We do know, however that about half of the bunch are slated to be sub-$300 (off-contract) devices that will hit the budget crowd; yeah, we're talking about quad-core budget phones. Sounds like we could see some budget devices that I actually wouldn't mind backing.

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