Qualcomm Adreno 205 vs Adreno 220 / HTC Sensation vs HTC Flyer, HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S

Here’s s quick compilation of benchmark results comparing the Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU vs Adreno 220 GPU found in the HTC Sensation (as part of the MSM8260 SoC). The are several things to note here: First, the Adreno 205 found in the HTC Flyer and HTC Desire HD are most probably not clocked at the same speed (The MSM8255 is clocked at 1Ghz in the Desire HD compared to1.5Ghz in the HTC Flyer). Secondly, THe screen resolution are different on each handsets:

- HTC Desire HD: 800X480
- Samsung Galaxy S: 800×480
- HTC Sensation: 960×540
- HTC Flyer: 1024×600

Thirdly, the driver versions are obviously not the same on all devices so you shouldn’t take those results as granted, they are just an indication of how these GPUs stack up against each other in synthetic benchmarks. The now famous and awesome PowerVR SGX540 is also included in the mix. Check the results after the break:

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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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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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Samsung Focus teardown

TechRepublic cracked the Samsung Focus open to check out its guts and see if there was anything of interest in there. As it was expected the device feature the famous Qualcomm QSD8250 SnapDragon Chipset and the following components (not that the Omnia 7 probably has exactly the same components):

- NEC MC-10170 imaging chip for the 5mpix camera (same as on the Samsung Galaxy S)
- Qualcomm PM7540 power management IC
- Micron OUA98 JW500 TQND
- SiliconBlue Technologies iCE65L04 Ultra Low-Power FPGA
- Avago Technolgies ACPM-5251, 4×5 UMTS Band I & Band V Dual-Band Power Amplifier Module with Integrated Coupler
- Skyworks SKY77336 Power Amplifier Module
- Fairchild Semiconductor FSA9280A USB 2.0 Accessory Detection Switch w/ 28V FET
- SanDisk SDIN4C2-8G 8GB NAND flash RAM
- Qualcomm RTR6285 UMTS/GSM/EDGE cellular transceiver
- This Samsung SWB-B23 Bluetooth IC (same ason the Galaxy S)
- Texas Instruments TPS65023B 6-channel Power Management IC
- Avago AFI037 1512BB
- Atmel MaXtouch mXT224 224-node touchscreen microcontroller (same as on the Galaxy S and the latest HTC smartphones like the EVO 4G, HD7, Incredible, Desire HD etc..)

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Texas Instrument wants to enter the Windows Phone 7 party

As you probably already know Microsoft has currently only certified one chipset manufacturer for Windows Phone 7  (Qualcomm) and only one SoC model is being used in the first batch of WP7 devices: the QSD8250 Snapdragon. The company has previously announced that this was meant to change in the future but so far nothing new has been said on the this subject. Microsoft’s decision to go with only one chipset manufacturer is obviously a good thing when it comes to hardware and software compatibility between all WP7 devices. It’s because of this that Microsoft was able to pump out one of the smoothest and snappiest OS (and UX) this fall.But as it is always the case in technology, things evolve quickly and MS will now have to start supporting Qualcomm’s newest chipsets ( like the ones found on HTC’s latest Android devices; MSM8x55, MSM7X30) and because OEMs don’t like to be controlled that way Microsoft will also have to decide whether they certify other Chipset Manufacturers or not. For example, even-thought Samsung builds its own mobile SoCs (like the Hummingbird found in the Galaxy S) they were”forced” to use Qualcomm’s QSD82500 on their WP7 devices (Focus and Omnia 7). Texas Instrument, makers of the TI OMAP line of mobiles SOC found in several high profile mobile phones (principally Motorola’s stuff lately) has recently expressed its desire to get into the Windows Phone 7 party:

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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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HTC Desire vs Samsung Galaxy S: Quake 2 performance

We already saw the Samsung Galaxy S running Quake 3 without breaking a sweat a few days ago. But how does it compare to HTC’s latest Android smartphone? Here’s a video of Quake 2 running on an HTC Desire next to a Galaxy S…the verdict is that HTC’s handset gets totally slaughtered by Samsung’s offering. My guess is that this has more to do with Qualcomm/HTC sub-par drivers than the actual GPU power under the hood (even though the PowerVR SGX540 GPU in the Galaxy S is in definitely more powerful that the current Qualcomm Adreno 200 found in the QSD8×50 SnapDragon. Watch the whole thing after the break:

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The future hardware powering Windows Phone 7

As you probably already know by now all Windows Phone 7 handsets will be powered by a Qualcomm SoC. The specifics of the chipsets used are still unknown but we do know that it will have minimum click rate of 1Ghz which hints at a SnapDragon or similar architecture (the QSD8x50, MSM8x55, MSM7X30, QSD8x50A all qualify). The only reall info we have so far comes from the leaked HTC Mondrian ROM which mentions the presence of a QSDx50A chipset on board. So how is this piece of hardware interesting? Well, first off it is still unreleased and when the HTC Mondrian finally launches this fall it will probably one of the first devices to sport one. Secondly it’s the new shrunk down (45nm) version of the now famous QSD8X50 found in the majority of high-end Windows Phone and Android phones and is clocked at 1.3ghz (compared to the regular 1ghz chips shipping now). But the most interesting aspect of this new SoC is the updated GPU known as the Andreno 205 (the current SanpDragon CPU is the Adreno 200 aka AMDZ430). This new unit has been tweaked to have better OpenVG and Flash perfomance as well and improved shader performance:

This GPU features dedicated 2D Open VG graphics hardware along with 3D hardware which provides faster, higher-quality 2D rendering, simultaneous use of 2D and 3D, and lower power use.

•Hardware-accelerated SVG and Adobe Flash®
•Significant improvements in shader performance over Adreno 200 GPU
•Streaming textures that can combine video, camera, SVG and other image surfaces with 3D graphics
Supported APIs:

OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenVG 1.1, EGL 1.3, Direct3D Mobile, SVGT 1.2, Direct Draw, GDI. Concurrent CPU, DSP, graphics, and MDP

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