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Qualcomm Announces Next-Gen Snapdragon Chipsets

David Gilbert


Qualcomm Announces Next-Gen Snapdragon Chipsets

Last November we brought you news that Qualcomm was preparing to bring some serious processing power in the guise of its next generation Snapdragon mobile chipsets – and today it has delivered on that promise.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this morning, the chip manufacturer announced the new processor micro-architecture, codenamed Krait, which will power the next generation Snapdragon chipsets and will offer speeds of up to 2.5GHz (that’s per core by the way), power improvement of 150 percent and a reduction in power use of up to 65 percent compared to the current crop of ARM-based CPU cores. These chipsets will be available in single, dual and quad-core models and include a new Adreno GPU series with up to four 3D cores, and integrated multi-mode LTE modem.

The multi-core chipsets, based on 28nm technology, will have support for WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM, support NFC and stereoscopic 3D video/photo (capture and playback), as well as the multi-mode LTE modem integration. The new Adreno GPU series should be powerful enough for the latest gaming-orientated handsets we can expect in the coming months following the official unveiling of the Xperia Play yesterday. At the high end, the Adreno 320 quad-core GPU will deliver up to 15 times the performance of the original Adreno to drive the latest games and stereoscopic 3D video on larger-screen devices. Qualcomm claims that the Adreno 320 will delivers a graphical performance similar to an Xbox or PS3.

The MSM8930 will be a single-core beast which Qualcomm claims will be the first single chip solution to bring LTE to the masses. It will include the Adreno 305 GPU but we won’t be seeing it until early 2012. Samples of the dual-core MSM8960 on the other hand will be shipping in Q2 of this year and will include the Adreno 225 GPU to give up to eight times the performance of the original Adreno.

However it is the quad-core APQ8064 which has us really excited as it is aimed at “mobile entertainment and computing devices” which basically means the next generation of tablets. This beast includes support for both PC and LP DDR memory, serial and PCIe interfaces, and multiple USB ports but won’t be shipping until early 2012. When we will see any of these devices powering our mobile phones or tablets is anyone's guess but we imagine it won't be anytime soon.

Source: Qualcomm


February 14, 2011, 3:50 pm

This is great 'n all but the real question is, when are we going to see the next generation of batteries that can really handle these new chipsets and fully utilise them? A question that you could also aim at the upcoming dual-core phones.


February 14, 2011, 4:19 pm

@RazorA - Totally agree, itd be nice to see the next smartphone "battle" being battery life and that smartphones start to last 3-4 days normal use (by normal I mean several calls, texts, web browsing/streaming ect)...

These chips do look nice tho, I was disappointed that the Tegra 2 doesnt seem to be the powerhouse it was being hyped up to be with respect to video playback (rumours are it struggles with some of the HD files, hence why it was dropped by Boxee for their Boxee box)


February 14, 2011, 4:43 pm

I hate having to frequently charge my phone as much as the next guy, but as long as I can get one full day of fairly intensive use out of it, I'm happy. For my purposes, anything on top of that is just added convenience, not necessity.

This is probably the kind of reduced yardstick smartphone makers are aiming at these days.

snoop 7

February 14, 2011, 5:46 pm

Must agree with everyone - major advancement in mobile technology but manufacturers must improve battery life. I currently own the HTC Desire - great phone but I barely get a day's use on full charge on medium use and that is with all automatic notification etc, either turned off or on low setting! A smart phone with everything turned off just to conserve energy is quite frankly not very "smart".

Martin Daler

February 14, 2011, 8:13 pm

@Stelph probaably the Tegra 2 fails to shine because the software running on it fails to exploit dual cores. I'm still waiting for PC programs to exploit the quad-core in my PC. How long will it take for mobile OS and applications to catch up with dual/quad cores, versus how long do you keep the average mobile (and how long do they keep the OS upgrades coming, eh - Motorola, for example?)


February 14, 2011, 10:47 pm

@Martin Daler: Technologies like Snow Leopard's preposterously named Grand Central Dispatch allow developers to target their software to multi-core platforms without having to write masses of thread handling code that has to adapt to a variety of hardware.

Android was designed to efficiently handle multiple threads from day one, so as long as the app developers are using the OS to manage their threads, the benefits of a multi-core chip will be instantaneous.

Arctic Fox

February 14, 2011, 10:54 pm

As regards to battery-life I proffer the following definition of basic acceptability. You get up with a fully charged phone on a Friday morning, you use it all day at work, you go out to the pub after work. you chat to your friends there and on the phone all evening and you still have enough juice to ring your mini-cab when you get thrown out at one o' clock in the morning. If it can't manage that......?

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