Qualcomm Announces Smartphone Chipsets, Snapdragon Smartbook
Wireless technology company Qualcomm announced it is
sampling a smartphone chipset family, the MSM7x30, with an emphasis on
multimedia performance and supporting high-definition video recording and
playback, as well as Lenovo-branded smartbook (a cross between a netbook and a
smartphone). The Snapdragon chip is an ARM-based central processing unit (CPU)
developed by for use in smartphones and mobile computing devices. Network
operator AT&T will reportedly be offering the device on its network.
During an investor meeting in New York this week, Qualcomm
CEO Paul Jacobs briefly showed investors a photo of the device, which Jacobs
said would debut at the 2010 Computer Electronics Show (CES). Several
technology blogs, including techticker, managed to capture a low-resolution
photo of the device, which Jacobs claimed was "smaller than a Palm Pre
smartphone. In June 2009 Qualcomm showcased an Asus Eee PC netbook powered by
the Snapdragon processor, and the chip is currently used in smartphones such as
the HTC HD2 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. According to a report from PC
World, Jacobs said the Lenovo smartbook features a large battery to help power
the screen and "a Linux-based user interface that consisted of six large
widgets, including ones for e-mail and Facebook."
In a separate announcement, Qualcomm said the first devices
based on the MSM7x30 family of chipsets are expected to launch commercially
before the end of 2010. The company said the chipsets, which includes the
MSM7230 solution for HSPA+ networks and MSM7630 solution with multi-mode
HSPA+/EV-DO Rev. B and SV-DO support, is designed around optimal data
throughput and multimedia functionality. The 7x30 has the same Scorpion CPU as the
Snapdragon QSD8x50 chipset. The 7x30 uses an 800 MHz to 1 GHz custom
superscalar CPU based on the ARM v7 instruction set, designed run at low power
while supporting features such as 720p high-definition video, 12-megapixel
camera support, integrated GPS for location-based services and support for mobile
operating systems, including Android, Windows Mobile, Brew Mobile Platform and
"Qualcomm continues to focus on enabling the best possible
mobile experiences and this new family of solutions brings an unmatched feature
set to the smartphone segment," said Alex Katouzian, vice president of product
management for Qualcomm CDMATechnologies.
"As the demand for smartphones continues to grow, our innovative technology
will enable Qualcomm's device manufacturing partners to deliver products with
greater value than ever before."
The company said other features the chipset would be able to support included integrated 2D and 3D graphics GPUs (with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, and OpenVG 1.1 industry standard APIs), Dedicated low-power audio subsystem supporting 5.1 surround and support for package-on-package memory in order to help reduce board space, optimize power consumption and help improve responsive performance. The MSM7x30 family of chipsets is supported by the PM8058 power management integrated circuit and the QTR8600 RF subsystem with integrated Bluetooth and FM radio. The chipsets will also directly interface with Qualcomm's WCN1312 wirless local area network (WLAN)solution for 802.11 b/g/n and a.