Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 high-end SoC announced

Following yesterday’s underwhelming NVIDIA Tegra 4 announcement (the GPU doesn’t even have a unified shader architecture so you can rule out OGL3.0 and OpenCL support..) comes Qualcomm new Snapdragon 800 SoC and re-branding of the Snapdragon S4 Plus and S4 Pro which are new respectively the Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 600. So what’s new under the hood? Well the Snapdragon 600 is essentially a beefed up S4 Pro; Quad Core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU now clocked higher for a announced 40% speed boost compared to the S4 Pro.

The Snapdragon 800 is where the fun begins…This new SoC will pack new Krait 400 2.3GHz CPUs and and new Adreno 330 GPU. The whole packaged is promised to be 75% faster than the current S4 Pro. It will also have support for WiFi 802.11AC, 4K video at 30fps video encoding/decoding and 2K video at 60fps and should start appearing in devices in Q3/Q4 of 2013 while the Snapdragon 600 will hit the market in Q2 2013.

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HTC Windows Phone 8X and Window Phone 8S announced: Full Specifications

HTC has finally unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 handsets today the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. Check out the full PR below as I will update this post with the hardware specifications of theses devices as soon as possible:

UPDATE: Full specs and video after the break!

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Don’t miss the HTC Windows Phone 8 event today

In case you missed the memo, HTC is going to publicly unveil its Windows Phone 8 devices today or tomorrow (depending on your timezone) in NYC around 11AM ET ( that’s 4PM GMT). There’s unfortunately no live stream that I’m aware off unlike Nokia’s September 5th event so the best way to follow the news will most probably the live-blogs of those who are going to be present there or simple refreshing HTC’s website which will be updated with all the specifications as soon as the handsets are announced.

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HTC Windows Phone 8 devices specifications leaked

It didn’t take long for HTC’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 roadmap to leak just one day after the official unveiling of the new platform. According to the Verge’s sources the Taiwanese manufacturer is planning to launch 3 handsets before the end of the year: HTC Rio, HTC Accord and HTC Zenith. Each model will target a specific price point thanks to the new HW chassis flexibility provided to OEMs with WP8. Check out the specification after the break.

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Windows Phone 8 to launch this fall with only four OEMs: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei all powered by Qualcomm

What I have been predicting for more than a year has finally been confirmed today when Microsoft announced that all the future Windows Phone 8 handsets launching this fall will be powered by Qualcomm‘s SnapDragon S4 Plus / MSM8930 or MSM8960 SoC with the Adreno 225 or Adreno 305 GPU, which seems to once again be the only certified chipset partner for the platform. What is more surprising though is that only four OEMs are on board this time around: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. The rest are ..well..nowhere to been seen and frankly we shouldn’t care given the total lack of creativity and effort that was demonstrated in the past. For more Windows Phone features info hit the link after the break.

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Future of Windows Phone aka Windows Phone 8 to be unveiled on June 20th

Microsoft is finally set to unveil the “future of Windows Phone” which will surely be the first sneak peak at Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo on June 20th during special developer event in San Fransisco. Not much else is known for now but Microsoft will for the most part probably talk about developing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 via WinRT and finally spill the beans about the future of Silverlight as a development platform for Windows Phone applications.

Let’s just hope that Redmond will also give us some concrete information regarding the upgrade path to Apollo of the current Windows Phone 7 handsets (hint don’t get your hopes up..but everything is still possible).

First Adreno 320 Benchmark results

Here’s a little something that should brighten up your day and hopefully give some credence to the rumored Nokia Lumia PureView rumor that poped-up a little while ago. The unicorn device in question supposedly packs an Adreno 320 GPU which should only be available in two Sanpdragon S4 SoCs later this year: the Quad-Core APQ8064 (w/out the modem) and later the Dual-Core MSM8960 Pro. It now turns out that Qualcomm is right on track with its roadmap and is already sampling the APQ8064 for its OEMs which means that there’s a chances that we will see Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices powered by these SoCs in the coming months.

The LG-E970 Android 4.0 handset (known as the LG-LS970 on Sprint) is already in wild and has been cough running the GLBenchmark suite lately to test out it’s beastly Adreno 320 GPU. Unfortunately for us the results aren’t really that interesting given that they were ran with Vsync on (@ 1280×768). Check out the result in the screen shot after the break:

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Alleged upcoming Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset specs and renders leaked: PureView and Adreno 320 GPU on board

As it’s usually the case with such things I’ll first advice you to take the following info with a pinch of salt and remain cautious. According to two supposedly leaked Nokia internal slides what you see here is the upcoming flagship Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset which will unsurprisingly sport the 41Mpx camera sensor introduced by the Nokia 808 alongside a Xenon flash, a 4.3″ curved HD Display (no AMOLED?), a dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which includes the Adreno 320 GPU (surprising..was expecting it to be for tablets only at first…). The phone also has an enigmatic “Rich Recording” video recording technology. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if the device’s name was Nokia Lumia PureView

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Nokia Windows 8 tablet rumored to ship later this year powered by Qualcomm

If you have been paying close attention to Stephen Elop recent interviews there’s no doubt that Nokia will introduced a windows 8 tablet at some point in the future. This may very well at the end of the year to align with the OS launch (and probably also Windows Phone 8). According to the latest rumors the 10inch screen device will be powered by a Dual-Core Qualcomm SoC Which will probably be the Snapdragon S4 Pro (with the Adreno 320 GPU) and will ship in Q4 2012. Nokia is also said to have commissioned Compal again to built 200 000 of those devices (similar to how Compal help manufacture the Lumia 800).

Small question to all my readers: Are you ready to sacrifice backwards compatibility and choose a Windows On ARM Tablet or will you prefer a X86 Windows 8 powered Slate?

Update: Forgot to say that I curentlyown a SAmung Slate 7 with the W8 CP running on it. Best of both words (CoreI5, Wacom Pen digitizer etc..) but battery life is deffinitly far from iPad standards. On the plus side: it totaly destroys any competing IOS or Android tablet on the market (or even the Tegra3/SanpdragonS4 powered ones in terms of performance.

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New Qualcomm 2011 / 2012 roadmap and SoC specifications: MSM8960, MSM8930, MSM8974 and Adreno 320

Remember the old Qualcomm 2011/2012 roadmap I posted about a couple of weeks ago? Well, here’s a new more up-to-date one that just appeared on the net. The internal PDF document is principally about the company’s LTE chipsets and technology but there’s also so new info about the upcoming Krait based 28nm dual-core SoCs that will start shipping in less that 6 months.

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Qualcomm MDP MSM8660 MSM8260 promotional videos

Ready for some totally useless promotional videos showing of the hardware capabilities of the Qualcomm MDP8660 development platform? This is essentially the development handset used to build apps for the newly released MSM8X60 SoC (MSM8260 the CDMA version the MSM8660) which is going to power the HTC EVO 3D, HTC Sensation and HP TouchPad. The MDP is available for purchase through Bsquare (just like the previous MDP platforms and Windows Mobile 6.X licenses…) for $1.350. The second video will also show the current MSM8X55 SoC clocked at 1.4ghz (powering HTC’s current high-end handsets @1Ghz and future Windows Phone 7 devices) going against what looks like and Tegra 2 powered LG Optimux 2X. But this looks kinda bogus as I’m certain that with the right drivers, a Tegra 2 can perfectly and smoothly playback 720P Flash videos unlike what is seen below.

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Qualcomm roadmap detailed: Quad Core CPU and GPU chipsets coming later this year

I just came across a internal Qualcomm presentation (dated March 2011 from an Android event in Korean) detailing the company’s current SoC roadmap and comparing its Scorpion CPU architecture against its Cortex-A9 competitors. keep in mind that this document is obviously biased towards Qualcomm’s own products so take all the claims presented with a grain of salt but there are quite a few interesting pieces of information in there.

First lest start with the roadmap pictured above. As you can see the first chips based on the new Krait micro-architecture (MSM8930, MSM8960, APQ8064 and the unknown MSM8270) are only expected to appear/sample (?) at the end of this year. The initial press release sated that the first MSM8960 samples were expected in Q2 2011 but I4m guessing that things may a been delayed a bit (or the “availability” mentioned in today’s document is actually OEM availability). The MSM8X55 which was first launched in the HTC Desire HD is now been touted as having 1.4Ghz CPU (up from the 1Ghz clock currently used by most OEMs) and also now apparently supports Stereoscopic 3D play/rec (this is the first time I see this features mentioned on thee 8X55 so it may be only possible on the 1.4Ghz version). This 1.4Ghz clocked MSM8X55 will first appear in the Samsung Galaxy S Plus in Europe.

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First Adreno 220 benchmarks show that it is a beast

Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU’s have always been seen as being a sub-par graphics compared to competing offerings from Imagination (PowerVR) and others like NVIDIA’s Tegra. This was essentially true with the Adreno 200 on Windows Mobile and Android mainly because of poor driver quality. Things are a bit different on Windows Phone 7 where the Adreno 200 is the only currently supported GPU, thanks to the tight integration with the OS and relatively good support provided by Microsoft. You can check out my recent Fable Coin Golf video to see that some pretty nice things can be done with it.

The Adreno 205 which is part of the MSM8X55 SoC package is a step forward in terms of performance and can be comparable in some case with the current top dog, the PowerVR SGX540 as seen in my benchmarks here. Qualcomm has also recently released new drivers for the 205 which slightly improves its performance compared to what you see in my benches (they are the ones used by Sony Ericsson in the Xperia Play).

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Qualcomm MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU demo

Here’s a nice video I shot yesterday at Qualcomm’s booth showing the Adreno 220 GPU in action running an OpenGL ES 2.0 demo developed by Southend interactive (on Android). The development device that you see hooked up to the HDTV via the mini-HDMI port packs Qualcomm’s MSM8660 dual-core CPU and Adreno 220 GPU that is going to be found in HP Palm’s TouchPad (under the APQ8060 name) and apparently the HTC Pyramid aka Sensation / (note that the output displayed on the TV is WVGA content upscaled to 1080P). I had a small chat with a couple of Qualcomm guys about their future SoCs and also the Windows Phone 7. I was once again told that they were working really closely with Microsoft right now on current Adreno 200 support (HLSL/ Programmable Shader support in XNA should by coming this year) and future Chassis which are being discussed and finalized right now (that’s what I got from the hints I was given). MS apparently is also wants to support higher resolution screens so newer SoCs are going to be certified. Because the of the Adreno’s close architectural similarities with the Xbox360 Xenos GPU the company can squeeze more out of it compared on Windows Phone 7 compared to Google on Android (there’s also the fact the Microsoft has total control over the API which is Direct3D Mobile).

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Qualcomm announces new Quad-Core chipset clocked at 2.5Ghz with Quad-Core Adreno 320 GPU

Qualcomm has just announced its new family of Snapdragon products which aren’t expected to see the light of the day before the end of 2012. This new family will be composed of the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064. All three will be using the latest 0.28nm process and features the newest Adreno 320 GPU with the APQ8064 having a quad-core version of it. It also goes without saying that these will also natively be able to render stereoscopic 3D content, LTE and have build-in NFC support. Qualcomm president Raj Talluri was also happy to point out that the recent Nokia and Microsoft partnership was a big win for the company given that they are the only certified chipset maker for Windows Phone 7 (his comment makes it seem like it will still be the case..). Make sure to check out my hands on preview of the MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU here and follow me on Twitter. Check out the full press release after the break:

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