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Qualcomm intros new dual- and quad-core Snapdragon chipsets

updated 05:10 am EST, Mon February 14, 2011

Chips built around a new CPU architecture

Qualcomm has unveiled several additions to its Snapdragon family of mobile processors, which will be expanded to include new single-, dual- and quad-core chipsets. The flagship quad-core chipset is built around the company's new CPU architecture code-named 'Krait.' The 28nm design is claimed to reach speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core.

When combined with the integrated Adreno graphics processor, the APQ8064 chipset is said to achieve 12 times the performance with a 75 percent in power efficiency compared to the first-generation Snapdragon chips. The improvements are expected to raise the bar for tablet devices or other gadgets that bring larger screens, 3D capabilities, more complex operating systems, or other advanced features.

The Adreno 320 GPU has also been revamped for significant leaps in processing power, enabling developers to push the current limits of mobile games and UI complexity. The component also supports 20-megapixel cameras, along with dual sensors synchronized for shooting 3D video.

Aside from the quad-core model, Qualcomm is also set to release new single- and dual-core Snapdragon chips that will likely serve as the bread and butter of the company's mobile lineup. The single-core MSM8930 and dual-core MSM8960 both share the same 28nm architecture as the quad-core flagship, but with scaled-down versions of the Adreno GPU.

The company claims its MSM8930 represents the first single-chip configuration with an integrated LTE modem for smartphones. The dual-core model is built with a multi-mode 3G/LTE modem, along with a new Adreno GPU that is said to best its predecessor's performance by a factor of eight.

The dual-core Snapdragon processor is slated to arrive before the other models in the second quarter of this year, while the single- and quad-core variants are expected to be available in early 2012. It is unclear if any of the new components will end up in Apple's range of products. The Verizon iPhone showed a move toward the MDM6600 chipset, while unconfirmed rumors suggest Apple may look to Qualcomm to supply chipsets for the next iPhone or iPad refreshes.

by MacNN Staff



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