While it may seem incredible, Qualcomm has claimed that its next generation Snapdragon will be the 28nm dual-core MSM8960 system-on-a-chip (SOC) , which will have five times the performance and consume 75 percent less power than the original Snapdragon. Not only that but it claims its next-gen GPUs will have the graphics capabilities of an Xbox 360 or a PS3. Nothing major then.
These bold statements were made by executive vice president, Steve Mollenkopf, who told delegates at an analyst conference in New York: “28nm will enable us to drive integration at the high end and you will also see migration into the mass smartphone market. We will take 28nm and use it to drive our technology leadership, while focusing on cost optimisation in the mid and lower tiers. We expect 28nm technology to further distance ourselves from the competition." Qualcomm is expected to release the 1.5Ghz dual-core QSD8672 before the end of this year which now sounds puny in comparison to the 5GHz of the MSM8960.
The MSM8960 will support WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and an FM Radio but it also has a multi-mode LTE/3G modem too. These specs are seriously impressive but whether or not Qualcomm can deliver on such promises remains to be seen.
In relation to the reputed graphics capabilities, these are powered by an Adreno 300 GPU and the possibility that these are comparable to those in the PS3/Xbox is pretty real since the technology in the consoles is a few years old now – which in Silicon Valley terms is 57 years give or take. However the problem they do face is that of memory as to output graphics of this kind would require a lot of memory which would use a lot of power. While this won't be seen in the MSM8960, Qualcomm have said it would be used on all its SOCs from 2011 to 2013.
With mobile gaming becoming more and more popular, and the recent revelations about a Playstation Phone, it seems that SOCs such as this are the way forward an could see mobile phone users playing PS3-quality games on their handheld devices very soon.