Microsoft certifying Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC for Windows Phone 8

Let’s not act surprised here folks. It was no secret that Qualcomm would still be the preferred SoC provider for Windows Phone 8 so the latest rumors that Microsoft is currently testing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 aka the MSM8960 SoC for a future Windows Phone 8 Apollo handset isn’t the least surprising. The MSM8960 is the Dual-Core Krait beast featuring the Adreno 225 GPU which will be shipping in the LTE version of the HTC One X Android handset and from the looks of it Microsoft my have rightfully decided to skip the S3 generation in favor of the S4 for WP8 in part because the later has built-in LTE radios and because this particular SoC will also be Qualcomm’s first Windows 8 certified platform (even though the Windows 8 version may be the Snapdragon S4 Pro with the Adreno 320 GPU).

Now this may sound worrying to current Windows Phone owners who have only Snapdragon S1 ans S2 powered devices but as far as we know those handset shouldn’t have any problem running Windows Phone 8 later this year.

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Nokia Lumia 900 announced: Specifications and Video

There you have it folks. The mighty Nokia Lumia 900 has just been unveiled by Stephen Elop in Las Vegas a today and it looks exactly like you might have expected it to be. It’s a slightly bigger Lumia 800 thanks to the 4.3″ AMOLED screen (I’m guessing that’s a unfortunately a PenTile Matrix panel..) and packs an Qualcomm MDM9200 LTE multi-modem alongside an APQ8055 Snapdragon like the HTC Titan II announced earlier today. The battery has a capacity of 1830mha (the Titan II is 1730mha) and it will come in two colors; Black and Cyan. It will be available exclusively on AT&T in the US. It features exactly the same 8Mpix F2.2/28mm camera on the back with Carl Zeiss optics but also has a 1.3Mpix F2.4 (!!) front facing camera.The Lumia 900 will also have the WiFi Host-spot internt sharing feature enabled out of the bow.

No word yet on if it will ever be available outside of the US or the presence of a Gyroscope unlike the Lumia 800 and 710. Stay tuned for more..

UPDATE: The Nokia Lumia 900 does feature a Gyroscope.

UPDATE: It apparently doesn’t have a PenTile Martix panel!

Short hands-on video and specifications after the break:

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Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait based SoC details unveiled

Those of you following closely the SoC market will be happy to learn that Qualcomm has finally unveiled technical details of its much anticipated SnapDragon S4 Krait based SoC yesterday in a relatively in-depth white paper that everyone can download. Krait based SoC are in track to hit the market in the first half of 2012 with the first MSM8960 dual 1.5Ghz core SoC later followed by the MSM8930, MSM8228 and MSM8974. I posted the full specifications back in July here but Qualcomm’s legal department laid the ban hammer on me and asked me to take down the full pdf. Anyway, here’s what you can expect from the first  28nm mobile SoC (using TSMC’s 28nm LP process) to hit the market which will also so be Windows 8 compliant thanks to it’s DirectX 9.3 support:

• Dual 1.5-1.7 GHz Krait/ L2 1MB
• 2x500MHz LPDDR2
• LTE FDD/TDD cat3(8960); DC-HSPA(8270) 21HSPA+(8260A) TD-SCDMA (8960, 8260A)
• 1080p HD Video@30fps; 3D 20Mpix
• Adreno 225 3D/2D 125M tri./sec (DX9.3)

The Krait CPU architecture is Qualcomm’s own variant of the AMR Cortex A8 but so heavily tweaked and changed that it can’t really be comparable to other competing Cortex A9 or future A15 CPUs. In terms of raw performances it’s will most probably be competitive with the A9 chipsets (if not better) but may lag a bit behind the upcoming higher clocked Cortex A15 SoCs which will come out in late 2012. Krait’s powers efficiency will probably help it in this case but this has yet to be seen. The big advantage that Qualcomm has is its time to market compared to all the new generation chipsets for its competitors which for the most part will all be using bigger processes (40nm or 35nm, only the the TI OMAP will be on 28nm). Because of this, we may have another QSD8250 situation next year where most of the Android handsets will be based on this chipset simply because it will be out at the right time (more than 6 months ahead of its most direct competition).

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Qualcomm simplifies Snapdragon branding

Qualcomm decided to simply it’s Snapdragon SoC naming convention today and make it easier for the average Joe to distinguish one SoC from another. Here’s how it will now look like:

- Snapdragon System 1 aka S1 Class: QSD8250 (65nm 1Ghz Scorpion CPU + Adreno 200 GPU) and the new MSM7227, MSM7627,MSM7225, MSM7625
- Snapdragon System 2 aka S2 Class: MSM7X30, MSM8X55, APQ8055 (45nm 800Mhz-1.4Ghz Scorpion CPU Adreno 205 GPU)
- Snapdragon System 3 aka S3 Class: APQ8060, MSM8260, MSM8660, QSD8672 (45nm up to 1.5GHE Dual-Core Scorpion CPU Adreno 220 GPU)
- Snapdragon System 4 aka S3 Class: All the upcoming Krait based SoC configurations MSM8228, MSM8930, MSM8960, MSM8974, APQ8064 ( 28nm up to 2.5Ghz Dual and Quad Scorpion CPU + Adreno 305, Adreno 320 GPU)

So nothing really ground breaking here and I personally prefer to refer to an Soc by its really name rather that something relatively vague like S3 Class.

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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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HTC Thunderbolt to have simultaneous voice and data over 3G

As previously rumored, the HTC Thunderbolt will apparently support simultaneous voice and data over 3G thanks to it’s MDM9600 multi-modem radio. Nothing is 100% official yet but according to the picture above the feature is going to be fully supported or advertised by Verizon and is more of a proof of concept for now.

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HTC Thunderbolt specifications

HTC has finally announced the HTC Thunderbolt LTE Android handset on Verizon and just like I told you earlier this week the device packs an MSM8655 coupled with an MDM9600 LTE radio (and not an MSM8960 like the stupid rumor claimed…). Anyway, the device is basically just an HTC Desire HD with a front facing camera and the added LTE modem. Now regarding the HTC Inspire 4G launching on AT&T the hardware is just totally identical to the HTC Desire HD with exactly the same design, no front facing camera and same SoC (specs here). Contrary to what I’m seeing reported the 4.3 inch screen of both devices is the same TFT LCD used since the HTC HD2 and not an SLCD panel. Amway check out the HTC Thunderbolt hardware specifications after the break:

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