updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
Qualcomm Krait-based Snapdragon chips detailed
A leaked Qualcomm presentation has given clues as to its plans for its next-generation Snapdragon processors. The MSM8270, MSM8930, MSM8960, and APQ8064, all based on the future Krait architecture, are expected to be as much as five times faster than their predecessors in raw CPU power and four times faster in graphics with "console quality gaming." MobileTechWorld's example showed it supporting not just 1080p displays and 3D video but 7.1-channel Dolby Surround and up to a 20-megapixel camera should one exist.
The company was ambitious enough to suggest it would not just beat existing ARM Cortex-A9 chips in devices like the iPad 2 or Xoom but future Cortex-A15 chips out at or near the same time as when Krait arrived. If a chip was made on a 28 nanometer process, it would have as much as 23 percent more computing headroom than an A15 but chew 47 percent less power at the same performance. Like its official ARM rival, it could clock up to 2.5GHz and range from single- to quad-core models.
Qualcomm has promised that the MSM8960, with built-in 3G and LTE-based 4G cellular hardware, is due to be given out to companies in test sample form before the end of spring. The remaining Snapdragons will be sampled at the end of the year. Real, shipping products are expected to hinge on when other companies are ready and may not see most phones or tablets using them until 2012.