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Snapdragon 800 will air this summer, boost CPU speeds and the on-die GPU

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) in January made the bold claim that its Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip (SoC) was "the world's fastest mobile processor".  At the 2013 Mobile World Congress, the company was busy preaching that claim and praising the chips potential for smartphones/tablets.  The 28 nm Tegra 4 packs four cores running at up to 1.9 GHz, plus a low-power companion core, and is paired with 72 GPU processing units.

Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) is unphased, though, by NVIDIA's bold rhetoric.  In an interview with The Verge, Qualcomm's Senior VP of Product Management, Raj Talluri, said that the Snapdragon 800 should "easily" beat Tegra 4 in most benchmarks.  He's also confident that despite the die-shrink Tegra will still be more power hungry than Snapdragon, due to its lack of an on-die LTE modem.  He adds that his company is "more focused on shipping products" than refuting rivals' braggadocio.

So far about 50 upcoming products have been announced or leaked that feature the Snapdragon 800, which begins sampling next quarter.  The chip packs a quad-core processor clocked at up to 2.3 GHz, on-die LTE, and a fresh GPU, the Adreno 330.

Qualcomm is confident that the Snapdragon 800 willl still be more than enough to hold off the Tegra 4i (Grey), the refined version of Tegra 4 that's slated to land later this year.  Tegra 4i and Snapdragon 800 are somewhat similar on paper -- both are clockd at up to 2.3 GHz, both feature four primary CPU cores, both feature an on-die LTE modem.

Snapdragon 800
Qualcomm is confident the Snapdragon 800 won't be beat. [Image Source: Liliputing]

But Qualcomm is also focused on keeping dominant on the low end.  Its Snapdragon 200 (1.4 GHz quad-core, Adreno 203) will be aimed at sub-$100 USD smartphones, its Snapdragon 400 (1.4 GHz quad-core or up to 1.7 GHz dual-core, plus Adreno 305) will be aimed at $100-300 USD phones.

Currently Qualcomm's high-end chip is the Snapdragon 600 (1.9 GHz quad-core, Adreno 320).  The Snapdragon 600 has already scored some important early design wins, such as the HTC One from HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).

Qualcomm and NVIDIA can't focus solely on each other, though -- they also have to contend with the likes of Intel Corp. (INTC), whose 22 nm chips will soon hit the mobile space.  And then there's Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) both of whom make their own proprietary ARM cores.  By merit of their massive market shares, they also effectively drive the processor market.

Source: The Verge

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By Pirks on 2/27/2013 1:35:17 PM , Rating: 1
CT (Clover Trail) pwned ARM in recent Windows 8 tablets, both speed wise and battery life wise. If ancient 2008 era Atom on an old 32nm manufacturing process can easily pwn modern ARM, what chances ARM has against new OOO Atom architecture coupled with modern 22nm node? Bye bye ARM and iPad and Android, it was nice using ya :P

Of course, if only Emballmer realized that first party apps for Win8 tablets is priority number one, instead of useless waste of resources called Windows RT and Surface RT... his stupidity is the only thing that can sink Windows 8 tablet juggernaut. We'll see if someone can talk sense into this bald idiot. I hope he wises up eventually

P.S. I wasn't quite optimistic about Atom until I read about CT+ that doubles CT GPU performance, if Intel can iterate this quick... I'm not worried about W8 tablet hardware then. If Emballmer stops being an idiot, then software side of these tablets should make a decent iOS competitor too.

By Manch on 2/27/2013 2:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
ever since I saw the Medfield phone, I've been waiting for another revision. Once x86 is running in talets & phones, then MS will be able to expand it's market share quite a bit. Imagine one OS to rule them all. All of your programs working on all of your hardware.

By Pirks on 2/27/2013 2:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's exactly what I'm talking about. The only thing stopping MS right now is Emballmer who wastes precious development resources on his moronic pet projects like Windows RT and Surface RT. Once he reroutes resources to Clover Trail/Bay Trail/WhateverNextGenAtomIs based tablets, makes Surface 2 strictly Atom and Haswell based and finally starts investing $$$ in cool first part apps and games (Halo and Gears of War _exclusively_ on Surface 2 would kill iPad instantly) - only then his vision of one uniform OS to rule them all can be materialized. So his vision is good but his execution is so stupid even Motoman or Reclaimer could do better.

By andrewaggb on 2/27/2013 2:42:50 PM , Rating: 3
lol. If Halo and Gears launched on windows 8 and ran on both surfaces with wireless xbox 360 controller receivers built into the tablets... that would have been worth talking about. Halo, Gears and Office would have been so much more impressive than the killer app being 'office beta'.

Maybe with surface 2 microsoft can get a clue. People want to be able to work AND play on the same device. And not just angry birds.

Of course windows 8 needs some lovin as well. Metro and Desktop just suck together, especially on multi-monitor.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2013 4:05:57 PM , Rating: 1


Pirks usually your little nicknames are cheesy and make me roll my eyes. But that was comedy gold my friend.


By OnyxNite on 2/27/2013 3:01:12 PM , Rating: 3
Intel does currently outperform ARM. The interesting story is will it still be so next year when ARMs 64bit CPU's come out. If ARM still can't compete then you're right, they're done.

Windows RT and Surface RT users are beta testers form ARM windows. Microsoft wants to offer Windows Server on the coming high density ARM64 servers and RT is a natural step to get the kinks worked out with consumers before you put an OS on a new arch and hand it over to high-reliability demanding business. It doesn't matter if it doesn't take off in consumer space, the work had to be done anyway for servers.

By Pirks on 2/28/2013 1:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
The recently announced 1.2GHz single core Atom looks ridiculous
Your moronic lies look ridiculous. Intel Atom Z2580 => 2 cores, 4 threads, 2.0 GHz clock frequency. Stop lying, lame troll.

By fteoath64 on 2/28/2013 3:59:53 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like the Atom Z2580 might be kicked by the Tegra4 if both runs at full rated speed. However, the battery life would be close or T4 behind by 15%. Still in a tablet, especially a 10incher or a little bigger, it will not matter much.

We shall soon see the exact benchmarks from Anand when both tablets with T4 and Snapdragon 800 are released on the market. Chances are, they would be close. My guesses are:
T4 will have 20% advantage on GPU speed.
T4 will have 10% advantage on cpu speed.
T4 will have 15% disadvantage on battery life.
Qualcomm will have some optimising to do in firmware but Adreno 330 is not match for Geforce 72 (looks like mobile redux of ATI vs Nv).

By WilcoD on 2/28/2013 7:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
Tegra 4 and 4i will easily beat the Z2580 both on CPU and GPU, there is no doubt about that. Power consumption is still a question for either, we'll have to wait and see until they appear in actual products.

By WilcoD on 2/28/2013 7:28:52 AM , Rating: 1
I was talking about the Z2420 in the FonePad tablet. The Z2580 will not appear in actual products for some time, and when it finally shows up, it will be beaten easily by any ARM SoC.

To prove that, compare the Geekbench score of the 2GHz single core Z2480 of just 1000 with the score of 1900 for 1.4GHz Exynos 4 and 4285 for Tegra 4. So even with 2 cores at 2GHz the Z2580 will be much behind.

Thanks for playing, troll.

By Pirks on 3/2/2013 12:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
it will be beaten easily by any ARM SoC
Who cares if Z2580 runs all the Windows software easily and ARM doesn't? ARM is a waste of money now, a purchase for the idiots who don't know what they want.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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