If you thought the mobile processor space was simmering down, well, you’d be wrong. Today, Qualcomm announced a brand new generation of its Snapdragon family, and the new chips feature speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core. There are single, dual, and quad-core chipsets and they feature Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, FM radio, NFC and LTE modem support. Qualcomm has gone on the record to say that the new chips are capable of a 150% performance increase over existing ARM-based CPU cores in addition to a whopping 65% drop in power consumption. Dual-core MSM8960 chips will be available in the second quarter of this year, with single-core MSM8930 and quad-core APQ8063 chips becoming available early 2012. It looks like realistically, we might not see the quad-core chip make its debut in a consumer device until mid-2012 at the earliest, but that doesn’t make us any less excited. Hit the break for Qualcomm’s press release.
Qualcomm Announces Next-generation Snapdragon Mobile Chipset Family
Mobile Technology Leader Debuting New Quad-, Dual- and Single-core Snapdragon Chipsets with a new CPU Architecture
BARCELONA, SPAIN – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its next mobile processor architecture for the Snapdragon family. The new processor micro-architecture, code-named Krait, in the next-generation Snapdragon will redefine performance for the industry, offering speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and delivering 150 percent higher overall performance, as well as 65 percent lower power than currently available ARM-based CPU cores. These chipsets will be available in single-, dual- and quad-core versions and include a new Adreno® GPU series with up to four 3D cores, and integrated multi-mode LTE modem.
The latest family of Snapdragon chipsets will include the single-core MSM8930™, the dual-core MSM8960™ and the quad-core APQ8064™. All chipsets in the family will integrate a quad-combo of connectivity solutions — WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM — and include support for near field communication (NFC), as well as stereoscopic 3D (S3D) video and photo capture and playback. Support for every major operating system, across all tiers of products, comes standard on all Snapdragon chipsets.
The software compatible chipset family will share the same 28nm technology and new, purpose-built CPUs and GPUs for the best mobile performance at the lowest power consumption. The latest Adreno GPUs will also be included in the family, allowing developers to continue to utilize high-performance Adreno graphics capabilities to drive spectacular gaming and user experiences across all device tiers. The Adreno GPU has the largest mobile graphics ecosystems with hundreds of games for Android, Windows Phone 7 Xbox gaming, and PlayStation Certified gaming.
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 S3D video on larger-screen devices. Adreno 320 delivers similar graphics performance to today’s latest game consoles, but for mobile devices. In addition, the chipset family will support 3D and S3D games, capture and playback of S3D photos and videos, and output in full HD to a 1080P flat panel display over HDMI.
“Just as the original Snapdragon revolutionized smartphones with the first 1GHz processor, these new generations of Snapdragon will revolutionize the next wave of mobile entertainment and computing,” said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president for Qualcomm. “We believe we have an incredible lineup of chips and software, representing a single platform that OEMs can utilize to create new devices ranging from mass market smartphones with integrated LTE, to tablets, to next generation computing and entertainment devices.”
The single-core MSM8930 is the world’s first single-chip solution with an integrated LTE modem designed to take LTE to mass market smartphones. It will include the new Adreno 305 GPU which delivers more than six times the performance of the original Adreno.
The dual-core MSM8960 is the world’s first dual-core solution with an integrated multi-mode 3G/LTE modem and was designed to meet the requirements of multi-tasking smartphones and tablets. It will include dual asynchronous CPU cores which can be independently controlled for maximum efficiency. The MSM8960 will also support dual-channel LP DDR memory and will feature the Adreno 225 GPU which delivers eight times the performance of the original Adreno.
The quad-core APQ8064 will be designed to meet the performance requirements of the next generation of computing and entertainment devices while minimizing power consumption. As with the Snapdragon dual-core, the APQ8064 will include four asynchronous CPU cores which can be independently controlled for maximum efficiency. The Adreno 320 quad-core GPU debuts in the APQ8064 processor where it enables console-quality gaming and renders rich user interfaces.
The APQ8064 will also include a variety of features that make it a compelling processing solution for use in mobile entertainment and computing devices, including support for both PC and LP DDR memory, serial and PCIe interfaces, and multiple USB ports. The APQ8064 will also seamlessly integrate with Qualcomm 3G and LTE MDM™ modems and modules, giving OEMs a flexible and cost-efficient platform that can meet all of their design configuration needs and help reduce time to market.
Samples of the MSM8960 are anticipated to be available in Q2 2011 and samples of the MSM8930 and APQ8064 are anticipated to be available in early 2012.