MWC: Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon Mobile Chipsets, Gobi3000 Modules

The chipsets are led by the quad-core flagship APQ8064, based on the new micro-architecture codenamed Krait.

BARCELONA--Qualcomm debuted its next mobile processor architecture for the Snapdragon family, including the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064, offering speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core. The 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.

All chipsets in the family will integrate a quad-combo of connectivity solutions-WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM-and include support for NFC (near field communication), 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, a company release noted. Samples of the MSM8960 are anticipated to be available in second quarter 2011 and samples of the MSM8930 and APQ8064 are anticipated to be available in early 2012.

The software-compatible chipset family will share the same 28nm technology and new, purpose-built CPUs and GPUs and include Adreno graphics capabilities. At the high end, the company said 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. 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.

The single-core MSM8930 is a single-chip solution with an integrated LTE modem designed to take LTE to mass market smartphones and will include the new Adreno 305 GPU. The dual-core MSM8960 will support dual-channel LP DDR memory and will feature the Adreno 225 GPU and features an integrated multi-mode 3G/LTE modem.

The APQ8064, the flagship chipset in the new family of Snapdragon chipsets, is based on the new micro-architecture code named "Krait." 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. As with the Snapdragon dual-core, the APQ8064 will include four asynchronous CPU cores, which can be independently controlled. It also includes support for both PC and LP DDR memory, serial and PCIe interfaces, and multiple USB ports. The APQ8064 will also integrate with Qualcomm 3G and LTE MDM modems and modules, according to a company release.

The company also announced the next-generation embedded Gobi3000 certified reference design intended to deliver improved performance by doubling the HSPA downlink speed and enhancing the Gobi common application programming interface (API) functionality for enterprise applications. Gobi3000-based modules, along with enhanced system integration and differentiated software solutions, are now available from Huawei, Novatel Wireless, Option, Sierra Wireless and ZTE. The design allows Qualcomm's customers to offer both single-mode (UMTS) and multi-mode designs (CDMA/UMTS).

In addition, Qualcomm announced that future Google Android-powered devices running on the Snapdragon platform would have access to instant streaming of TV shows and movies from Netflix. "We're excited about this collaborative effort to help bring the Netflix application to Android devices running on the Snapdragon platform," said Liat Ben-Zur, senior director of software strategy and ecosystems for Qualcomm. "Qualcomm is in a unique position to help bring the most optimized and advanced Android apps to market through working closely with the strong ecosystem of Snapdragon developers like Netflix."