Microsoft planning to announce new Windows Phone 7 hardware requirements at MWC


File this under the rumor tag but I’m hearing that Microsoft is about to announce new hardware requirements (Chassis specifications) for Windows Phone 7 next Monday in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. I unfortunately don’t have any details on the changes to come but you may remember that Paul Thurrot claimed that NoDo will integrate support for Qualcomm’s MSM7X30 SoCs (the company’s current mid-range smartphone offering). If this is the only change then it would be really disappointing given that the only major difference between this SoC and the QSD8250 found in the current Windows Phone 7 handsets is the Adreno 205 GPU. But I don’t think that this alone would warrant a chassis change (both SoCs fit into the Chassis 1 specifications). We can probably expect things like Gyroscope support or even Front Facing camera but as of right now this is all speculation.

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Qualcomm MSM8260 and MSM8660 with Adreno 220 GPU shown on video

During last weeks CES Qualcomm publicly demonstrated for the first time the upcoming MSM8260 and MSM8660 SoC which is expected to be in retail devices later this year. The Dual -Core Scorpion powered SoC started sampling back in June and is basically an evolution of the current single chip SoC available in smartphone powered by the QSD8X50, MSM8X55 and MSM7X30 but with two Scorpion CPUs clocked a 1.2Ghz and the new Adreno 220 GPU. People are quit to trash Qualcomm because of most of the smartphone out on the market which are powered by their chips usually don’t perform as good as advertised. Unfortunately what most don’t realize is that this is mostly due to the software (the OS) and the drivers used by the OEMs. Take an HTC HD2 and try to play a 720P video on it and it will be impossible. Now try the same on any of the Windows Phone 7 devices out there (which have exactly the same specs) and you will see that the now “old” QSD8250 can playback the720P videos without breaking a sweat (you will have to bypass the Zune Software to do this as explained in my recent Windows Phone 7 Review).Some for the GPU performance: check out my Adreno 205 vs SGX540 benchmark to see the interesting results. Anyway, hit the break to see the MSM8660 in action (it can playback 3D HD video!):

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OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark: Adreno 205 vs SGX540 / HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S

GLBenchmark 2.0 has finally been released to the public today nearly 2 years after being unveiled during MWC 2008. The opportunity was too good so I decided to run it on the HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S to compare the Qualcomm’s Adreno 205 vs the Power SGX540. I did a chart (posted below after the break) so you can compare the full detailed results of both handsets and not only the overall score. This is really important because only looking at the overall results is actually a bit misleading in this case. As you probably already know the PowerVR SGX540 is currently the fastest mobile GPU currently available in retail devices and so far nothing has come close to it (besides the Tegra 2 which is pumping out results close to the Galaxy Tab in OGLES 2.0) but Samsung is currently the only OEM shipping handsets featuring this GPU. The newest entrant is the Adreno 205 which is part of the latest MSM8255 and MSM7X30 chipset from Qualcomm and used in several HTC devices. The Adreno 205 is an updated / tweaked version of the Adreno 200 found in the original QSD8250 chipset. Anyway check out the results below:

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HTC Merge preview and benchmark

Today’s a relatively slow news day so I’m going to post some HTC Merge related sotries here. The HTC Merge (also know as the HTC Lexikon) is the Dual-mode (GSM-CDMA) version of the HTC Desire Z launching on Verizon in the coming weeks. AndroidCentral managed to scoop one of the devices and posted a quick preview which also includes a video of the device’s 800Mhz MSM7630 chipset being benchmarked. The Adreno 205 GPU can be seen crunching out some really nice numbers which is nice to see but probably a little bit depressing if you are planning on getting a Windows Phone 7 device this fall (All WP7 devices are rumored to have the QSD8250 chiosetwiththe rgular Adreno 200 GPU).

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T-Mobile officially confirms that the G2 / HTC Desire Z has an MSM7x30 clocked @ 800Mhz

Contrary to yesterday’s bogus specifications T-mobile has now officially confirmed that the T-mobile G2 aka HTC Desire Z features the new Qualcomm MSM7x30 chipset clocked at 800Mhz (with the new Adreno 205 GPU inside). As I said a few days ago, it will be intesrting to see if HTC uses this SoC or if it will stick with the more convetional QSD8x50 (or even jumped directly to the QSD8x50A) for it’s first batch of Windows Phone 7 devices.

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The T-Mobile G2 aka HTC Desire Z will feature a Qualcomm MSM7x30 Chipset

A leaked T-Mobile G2 aka HTC Vision / Desire Z reveals that the chipset powering the device isn’t a regular QSD8x50 Snapdragon but the new MSM7x30 that was introduced at MWC in February. The MSM7x30 is part of Qualcomm’s SnapDragon family of products (but strangely isn’t branded Snapdragon) as it packs a similar CortexA8+NEON clocked at 800Mhz but has the newest Adreno 205 GPU instead of the Adreno 200 found in the QSD8x50 platform. The MSM7x30 basically fits between today’s QSD8X50 and the upcoming QSD8X50A (CortexA8 @ 1.3Ghz + Adreno 205). It will be interesting to see if HTC is also going to uses this platform in the upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices (HTC Schubert, Mozart,Gold etc…).If you remember, the leaked HTC Mondrian Rom indicated that the mysterious device had an QSD8X50A. You can read more about the Adreno 205 here.

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Qualcomm announces new MSM7X30 mainstream chipsets & first Dual-carrier LTE chipsets

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Qualcomm is announcing a new line of mainstrem chipset today based on the their Scorpion CPU core (the same one found in the SnapDragon chipset):

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services, today announced that it is sampling a new smartphone chipset family that breaks new ground in mobile performance in the mainstream smartphone tier. The MSM7x30 family features a strong emphasis on multimedia performance, supporting high-definition video recording and playback, exceptional graphics with dedicated 2D and 3D cores, and an overall chip design optimized for a highly responsive, immersive Web experience. The first devices based on the flagship MSM7x30 family of chipsets are expected to launch commercially before the end of 2010.

“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 CDMA Technologies. “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 MSM7x30 family of chipsets, which includes the MSM7230(TM) solution for HSPA+ networks and MSM7630(TM) solution with multi-mode HSPA+/EV-DO Rev. B and SV-DO support, is designed around optimal data throughput and powerful multimedia functionality. The 7×30 has the same market-leading Scorpion CPU as previously commercialized in the Snapdragon QSD8x50 chipset. The 7×30 uses an 800 MHz to 1 GHz custom superscalar CPU based on the ARM v7 instruction set, delivering exceptionally high-end processing at low power to support features that include:

•720p high-definition video encode/decode at 30 frames per second
•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
•12-megapixel camera support
•Integrated GPS for location-based services
•Support for leading mobile operating systems, including Android, Windows Mobile, Brew Mobile Platform and Symbian
•Support for package-on-package memory for reduced board space, optimized power consumption and more responsive performance

The MSM7x30 family of chipsets is supported by the PM8058(TM) power management integrated circuit and the QTR8600(TM) RF subsystem with integrated Bluetooth® and FM radio. MSM7x30 chipsets will directly interface with Qualcomm’s WCN1312(TM) WLAN solution for 802.11 b/g/n.

This doesn’t look like anything new to me. It has exactly the same specs as the SnapDragon chipset and I’m willing to bet that it’s just a 45nm version of the QSD8x50 platform (65nm). Remember that before being renamed QSD8x50 the SnapDragon SOC was named MSM7850….

THe San Diego chipmaker is also announcing the sampling of the first dual-carrier HSPA+ and Multi-Mode 3G/LTE Chipsets:

Dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE are network innovations that provide the ability to deliver more advanced data capabilities to mobile devices, supporting more compelling applications and richer user experiences. A wide variety of network operators, infrastructure vendors and mobile device manufacturers are now working with Qualcomm to enable the deployment of these next-generation network technologies in new markets worldwide. Interoperability testing with infrastructure partners is already underway with multiple field trials scheduled for the first half of next year. Commercial launches of data-centric devices based on Qualcomm’s MDM solutions are expected to begin during the second half of 2010.

“Qualcomm leads the industry in enabling next-generation mobile experiences with highly integrated, powerful and elegant solutions for dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE. We are pleased to be working with so many industry leaders to bring these advanced technologies to market,” said Alex Katouzian, vice president of product management, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “We remain committed to CDMA and OFDMA WAN modem leadership and the seamless and cost-effective commercialization of next-generation technologies around the world.”

Read the rest here

Source: Qualcomm