HTC Sensation Teardown Reveals Qualcomm Dual-Core Application Processor

The teardown report reveals how efficient, from a cost and power perspective, a fully integrated solution can be.

A number of dual-core application processors have been launched this year, according IT analytics firm ABI Research. With its MSM8260, however, Qualcomm has integrated an advanced dual-core application processor with an HSPA modem in one unit, which HTC has deployed in its Sensation phone.

ABI Research conducted an in-depth teardown of the MSM8260, which revealed how efficient, from a cost and power perspective, a fully integrated solution can be.

ABI Research Vice President of Engineering James Mielke said very few manufacturers can integrate a top-end dual-core application processor with a leading-edge modem. "With the MSM8260 Qualcomm is showing real muscle by being the first in the world to do so," Mielke said. "Nvidia's acquisition of ICERA earlier this year may show that it too believes the modem has a vital role to play in selling high-end application processors in the current market."

ABI Research's "HTC Sensation Teardown" includes all of the components in the MSM8260 chipset, the electrical bill of materials, measured performance numbers and more. The "Qualcomm MSM8260 Teardown" is also available for purchase separately. The processor is one of hundreds of devices and components-phones, baseband processors, power management, RF modules, connectivity components, application processors, sensors and RF and power management discretes-torn down and analyzed by the firm's Mobile Device Teardown Service.

The Sensation handset sports a 4.3-inch quarter-high-definition screen with 540-by-960 resolution, and features HTC's new Sense 3.0 user interface and the new HTC Watch video service, which lets users rent or buy movies and TV shows. Purchased videos may be viewed on up to five different HTC devices.

HTC Sense 3.0 introduces a number of new features to the UI. There is a customizable lockscreen, which displays social updates, photos, weather or stock updates when a user turns on the display. Users may jump from the lockscreen to make a phone call, send an email or take a picture via the gadget's 8-megapixel camera, which includes an instant-capture feature to let users rapidly snap photos. The Sensation also shoots full high-definition video in 1080p resolution, with full stereo sound at up to 30 frames a second.

T-Mobile USA recently began selling the HTC Sensation 4G Android smartphone June 15 for $199.99 after a $50 mail-rebate and a two-year contract. T-Mobile's 4G speeds, which offer up to 14.4M-bps download speed and up to 5.76M-bps upload speed, will enable media applications, including the HTC Watch movie and TV library and HTC Listen music library.

The Sensation 4G also has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash, digital zoom and auto-focus, paired with a front-facing camera and 1080p HD video recorder. Consumers can leverage the two cameras with the preinstalled Qik application to conduct video chat sessions, and the handset includes support for Microsoft Exchange email, contacts and calendar, social networking, and instant messaging, as well as a preinstalled 8GB microSD card.