After originally showing off its Tegra 4i processor with integrated i500 LTE modem at Mobile World Congress in February, NVIDIA today announced that it's demoing an improved version at CTIA this week. While the Tegra 4i that appeared at MWC was capable of Cat 3 100Mbps LTE data speeds, the model being shown by NVIDIA at CTIA is gobbling up data at Cat 4 150Mbps speeds. The big deal here is that this 150Mbps-capable Tegra 4i features the same hardware as the 100Mbps-capable Tegra 4i from MWC; it's simply received a software update that enabled it to achieve those higher download speeds.
In its demo, NVIDIA used a Tegra 4i-powered Phoenix reference phone connected to a testing unit that emulated an LTE Cat 4 network since there are no actual LTE Cat 4 networks live quite yet. NVIDIA also showed the Phoenix connecting to AT&T's network for voice calls and LTE video streaming. Since NVIDIA's Tegra 4i processor is multi-mode, it can connect to LTE-Advanced networks as well as LTE, 3G and 2G service.
As far as LTE-Advanced service goes, AT&T has plans to begin work on its LTE-Advanced offering later in 2013, while Verizon has simply said that it's "looking forward" to offering the service. It appears that NVIDIA will be prepared to power phones with its Tegra 4i CPU once LTE-Advanced service does start going live, though, which could help the company to grow its portion of the mobile processor market. To help pass the time until LTE-Advanced-capable smartphones do begin infiltrating the market, you can find NVIDIA's full announcement of its CTIA demo at the link below.