Nvidia Icera 410 LTE Modem Passes AT&T Network Validationby Brian Klug on May 24, 2012 9:00 AM EST
Since acquiring Icera, Nvidia has been busy readying itself for the next level of integration - selling baseband in addition to APs (Application Processors), and further down the road, inclusion of the baseband onboard the SoC. Today's news is a small step and logical precursor toward both goals, Nvidia's Icera 410 LTE and HSPA+ baseband has passed AT&T's network validation testing (NVT) which means the baseband is now approved to ship in subsidized tablets and clamshells, but not phones yet. The approval validates both the ICE8061 baseband and ICE8261 transceiver which comprise the Icera 410 chipset. Before the Nvidia acquisition, the Icera 410 chipset was named the Espresso 410 10 MHz platform.
Icera 410 is a multimode LTE / DC-HSPA+ / GSM baseband capable of essentially all the features you'd expect for this generation, including 64QAM on HSPA+, the option for DC-HSPA+ (dual cell), and interference cancelation (Type 3i). The only downside is that Icera 410 is an LTE UE Category 2 part, which means it can do 50 Mbps maximum on the downlink on 10 MHz FDD-LTE, compared to UE Category 3's 73 Mbps maximum for 10 MHz FDD-LTE. That said, the success of other UE Category 2 devices (like Motorola's Wrigley in all Motorola 4G LTE phones) shows that this isn't a huge deal breaker. As a reminder, AT&T is running both 5 and 10 MHz FDD-LTE depending on the market.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to make the next logical leap, which is what role the Icera 410 IP blocks will play in Nvidia's upcoming codename "Grey" SoC, which includes an as yet unannounced Icera baseband.