Qualcomm Announces Quad-Core Snapdragon CPU Aimed for Tablets, Available in 2012

Qualcomm has been a busy bee already here at MWC 2011, and we’re ready to give the full run-down of what they’re so excited about. First off, Qualcomm has announced a new line of Snapdragon CPU chipsets based on a 28nm micro-architecture codenamed “Krait”. The flagship chipset in this lineup will be the quad-core APQ8064, meant primarily for tablets.

The APQ8064 can achieve speeds up to 2.5 GHz and will have significantly high performance requirements to meet the fast-developing tablet technology that’s coming down the pipeline, such as larger screen sizes and resolutions, 20 MP camera support, HD gaming, 3D everything, full 1080p HD output over HDMI, and multi-channel audio, to name a few. It will integrate an Adreno 320 quad-core GPU (this will deliver 15 times greater performance than the original GPU)

Qualcomm said this new chipset will offer 12 times the available performance of previous Snapdragon chips, and will also be 75% more power efficient.

These new chipsets will be available in samples in early 2012, so don’t expect to see this in an actual device until later that year.

Press release:

Barcelona, Spain – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its quad-core Snapdragon™ chipset designed to meet the requirements of next generation tablets and computing devices. The new quad-core APQ8064™ is the flagship chipset in the new family of Snapdragon chipsets and is based on the new micro-architecture code named “Krait.” With the purpose of being built for mobile devices, this 28nm micro-architecture will redefine performance, achieving speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and minimizing power consumption and heat generation to enable new, thin and light form factors.

The Snapdragon APQ8064 chip will be designed to enable the next generation of converged computing and entertainment devices. These devices will have significantly higher performance requirements, including support for larger screen sizes and resolutions, more complex operating systems, multi-tasking, multi-channel audio, HD gaming and stereoscopic 3D (S3D) photo and video capture and playback, as well as output in full HD to 1080P flat panel displays over HDMI.

While performance requirements have been increasing, battery technology and capacity have struggled to develop at the same pace. To meet this challenge, Qualcomm created its next generation architecture and integrated four new, low-power CPU cores and its advanced Adreno® graphics into the APQ8064, enabling it to offer twelve times the available performance as well as 75 percent lower power than the first generation of Snapdragon processors. The combination of advanced processors and multimedia technology will provide tablets and mobile computing devices with unsurpassed performance, battery life, low thermal dissipation and the broadest set of connectivity options available in the industry.

“We’re excited about the new, innovative devices the APQ8064 will enable in the market,” said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of computing and consumer products at Qualcomm.
“With its WiFi integration and ability to seamlessly interface with Qualcomm’s 3G and LTE modules, the APQ8064 will provide OEM’s with a flexible, cost efficient and fast time to market platform that can meet all of their design configuration needs for tablets and next generation computing and consumer electronic devices.”

The APQ8064 processor will include the Adreno 320 quad-core GPU, which will deliver fifteen times greater performance than the original Adreno GPU, for a console-quality gaming experience, as well as rendering rich UI’s. With up to 20 Megapixel camera support, the APQ8064 will internally synchronize two camera sensors for 3D video recording and will support external 3D video playback.

The APQ8064 will feature a variety of features that make it the most compelling processing solution for use in mobile entertainment and computing devices, including support for both PCDDR3 and LPDDR2 memory, serial and PCIe interfaces and multiple USB ports.

As part of the next generation Snapdragon family, the APQ8064 will share a core set of features, including a quad-combo of connectivity solutions (i.e. WLAN, GPS, BT and FM), support for NFC and stereoscopic 3D (S3D) video and photo capture and playback. The APQ8064 also will support all available major operating systems and be software compatible across the chipset family.

Samples of the APQ8064 are anticipated to be available in early 2012.

Author: Brad Molen

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