CES 2013: Qualcomm Upgrades Snapdragon Chip Line, Targets Apple A6X, Tegra 4
January 8, 2013 10:23 PM
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New processor support UHD video, Advanced LTE, and 802.11ac
The system-on-a-chip (SoC) market is growing crowded, and the competition is intense. Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
, Intel Corp.'s (
, and Apple, Inc.'s (
are currently trading blows atop the
. NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) is claiming its just released
processor (28 nm)
is the "world's fastest" mobile chip
I. Qualcomm Airs Second Generation 28 nm SoC Product
That list leaves off one big player -- Qualcomm, Inc. (
). A year ago Qualcomm released the Snapdragon S4, a SoC that went on to become one of the most popular chips among high-power Windows RT and Android devices. This year at the
2013 Consumer Electronics Show
, Qualcomm announced its answer to the aforementioned competition -- and a departure from its naming.
The San Diego, Calif.-based chipmaker ditched the SX style names for this generation, instead naming its chips (from low- to high-end) Snapdragon 200, 400, 600, and 800. The new second-generation 28 nanometer designs are expected to launch in mid 2013.
The new Snapdragon series will land this summer. [Image Source: Liliputing]
The chips pack Qualcomm's new Krait 400 cores, which can be clocked up to 2.3 GHz. Qualcomm packs up to four of the cores in its high-end 600 and 800 series chips.
Also onboard will be the latest bleeding edge communications standards. There's an on-die third generation
Advanced LTE modem
capable of pulling down 150 megabits-per-second in the high-end 800 series. Also supported are 802.11n and the upcoming
802.11ac wireless standard
II. UHD Video and Quad-Cores
The Snapdragon 800 will be clocked at 2.3 GHz and will be roughly 75 percent faster than the fastest Snapdragon S4. The Snapdragon 600 will be clocked at 1.9 GHz and be 40 percent faster that than the fastest Snapdragon S4.
The 600 will feature a "speed enhanced" version of last generation's Adreno 320 on-die GPU from Qualcomm's in-house GPU family which it purchased from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s (
) in 2008 and has been building on ever since. The 800 will take things a step further with an Adreno 330, which is estimated to be twice as powerful as the Adreno 320.
The new generation of Adreno on-die GPUs will be up to twice as fast.
The new GPU will be able to power ultra high-definition displays -- which can be up to a ludicrous 2560x2048. And dual signal processors (on-die) allow for up to 55 megapixel imaging sensors, capable of capturing an equal-ridiculous 4K (3840 × 2160) perfect for those new television sets,
also aired at CES 2013
The new chips also support LP-DDR3 and Bluetooth 3.0.
III. The Market Divides
The new Qualcomm chip marks an interesting division amongst the ARM consortium. Qualcomm and Apple are pushing advanced independent architectures. Meanwhile Samsung and NVIDIA have adopted ARM Holdings Plc.'s (
latest and greatest Cortex-A15
reference design and modified it.
NVIDIA and Samsung use ARM's proprietary Cortex-A15 core designs.
[Image Source: ARM Holdings]
The division divides the SoC crowd into three distinct camps: x86 (Intel Atom and AMD's APUs), custom ARM (Apple, Qualcomm) and modified Cortex-A15 (NVIDIA, Samsung).
Qualcomm has its work cut out for it competing with Tegra 4,
(also due out mid-2013), and the rest of the pack. You can expect its first chips to be Snapdragon 600s, which will land in Q2 2013 according to the company's
wildly random press conference
(which featured Big Bird, Star Trek, Desmond Tutu, Steve Ballmer, Maroon 5, and more).
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Qualcomm Texas based?
1/10/2013 12:18:03 PM
Nothing odd about it. If you were in the industry, you'd understand.
Almost all corporations are technically based in Delaware. Go to many financial statements, and you'll see that they list Delaware as the state of incorporation. It's done for tax reasons.
But as the filing shows, it is 100% a Delaware corporation that happens to be headquartered and operated out of California.
RE: Qualcomm Texas based?
1/10/2013 1:11:24 PM
It has nothing to the with the "industry".
The state where a company incorporates is not the state it is headquartered in - those are completely different concepts. You're acting like a "db" "know it all" because you learned one thing in your high school business class.
Companies are not required to have a physical presence in the state they incorporate. They can pay an agent to represent them in that state and file the paperwork.
Company's incorporate in certain states like Nevada and Delaware because the laws are setup to make it very easier to incorporate, and are friendly towards businesses. Incorporating is a states issue, not a federal issue. So every company has to pick a state. Most large companies pick Delaware because of the reduced amount of paperwork required.
It has little to do with taxes as many states have no corporate taxes. It has more to do with the lost cost and low paperwork requirements.
But regardless, incorporating in a certain state does not make that your headquarters. Congratulations on finding an sec filing, but you have no idea what they are, because you're not in the "industry"
RE: Qualcomm Texas based?
1/14/2013 12:22:24 AM
I only own my own corporation and do quite nicely. So, nice try to insult me.
I was always quite clear that where a company was headquartered and where they were incorportated were quite separate and didn't have any bearing on one another. But if you want to get technical, it is a Delaware company. Also never made any mention of the federal vs. state issue.
As for the technical merit of your post, it actually sounds correct, and maybe even a bit more correct than my explanation. I go off the information my accountants give me. You know, those people I hire and keep on payroll to be experts in those fields.
So keep up the db references and bad assumptions, while I keep my Delaware incorporated business running quite fine. Perhaps some day you'll grow up and work for me.
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