If you’re building a mobile device with fast 4G connectivity, you’re usually shopping exclusively at Qualcomm’s chip store. The LTE modem dominance of the San Diego company has been almost total over the past few years, and because of the integrated nature of its systems-on-chip, it’s also spilled over into giving Qualcomm a significant lead among mobile processors as well.
Nvidia is now formalizing Qualcomm’s supremacy by announcing that it’s winding down its Icera division, which was responsible for developing competing LTE modems. Evidently, the task proved too difficult.
Nvidia acquired Icera back in 2011, and intended to “engage the smartphone revolution” in much the same way that Qualcomm is doing now, but its LTE hardware was consistently behind Qualcomm’s best and never managed to catch up. The goal of integrating the Icera modems into Nvidia’s Tegra processors never fully materialized (other than the unsuccessful Tegra 4i) and this news was only really a matter of time.