Qualcomm Snapdragon S800 powered Nokia Windows Phone coming later this year

We finally have confirmation that Nokia is working of several Windows Phone 8 handsets powered by Qualcomm’s latest high-end SoC the Snapdragon S800. Bothe MSM8274 (without LTE) and MSM8974 (with LTE) are being supported as seen in the screen shot above. The new Quad-Core Krait with Adreno 330 GPU powered devices are obviously still unknown but as I said last week the S800 is currently the only SoC that could potentially support a 41MP sensor like the one supposedly found in the soon to be announced Nokia EOS.

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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 and Nokia working on Windows RT tablets

News has just broke (or should I say “rumor”) that HTC is working on two Windows RT tablets that should launch in 2013. A 12inch and another 7inch device powered by a Qualcomm SoC which will probably be a SnapDragon S4 Pro (Quad-Core with Adreno 320). This story follows up recent rumors that Nokia is also hard at work on a similar device with the same Qualcomm chipset.

Talk about a Nokia Windows 8 tablet surfaced last summer (and here) but the Finnish company apparently decided not to take too much risk and wait for Microsoft Surface release to see if this whole endeavor is worth it. Unfortunately all of these rumors ,which should be taken with a pinch of salt, only make my decision to get a Surface RT even harder given that they will most probably be powered my a much faster SoC.

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HTC Windows Phone 8X hands on

The relatively good surprise of last night’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was my hands on experience with HTC’s new flagship handset the Windows Phone 8X. Contrary to what most people assumed the devices’ build quality is nearly perfect and on par with Nokia’s Lumias. But the most striking feature is in my opinion the handset’s weight (130g) and overall in hand feeling. Like I said earlier the Nokia Lumia 920 is heavy, especially when you compare it to the 8X and ATIV S.

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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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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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Nokia design chief confirms Windows 8 tablet and next UX breakthrough in Phones

Nokia’s design chief Marko Ahtisaari today confirmed to the Finnish Magazine Kauppalehti Optiossa that a third of his time was spend working on the company’s upcoming tablet which is rumored to be a Snapdragon S4 powered 10inch Windows 8 ARM Slate and that work is also done on an mysterious UX breakthrough for their upcoming Windows Phones. I unfortunately don’t have access to the print version of the paper but if anyone can send me a scan of it or maybe highlights o the whole interview it would really be appreciated.

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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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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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AT&T to showcase Qualcomm powered Windows 8 4G LTE tablet next week

AT&T’s 2012 developer summit which is taking place in Las Vegas right before CES is full of interesting session this year. One in particular session caught my attention because it is related to Windows 8 and Qualcomm’s SoCs.

A Metro Style Hemi™ – Windows 8 tablets super charged with 4G LTE – 3:30 – 4:15

Attend this session and see how to transform the higher speed and lower latency of LTE into an amazing user experience. First, learn from Qualcomm about the power of their Snapdragon chip, and how developers can tap into the Snapdragon Developer Program to create rich Windows 8 apps that help deliver differentiated consumer experiences that capitalize on LTE’s potential. Then see how the intuitive elegance of Windows 8′s Metro-style application design has been layered over this horsepower. Finally, hear how standalone applications can be transformed on this powerful platform, converting independent programs into streamlined, integrated live tiles. Opportunities abound in this session for developers of connected apps; discover how AT&T and Microsoft are working to make developing connected applications easier.

Based on this description it’s safe to assume that AT&T and Qualcomm are going to showcase a working Windows 8 tablet powered by a Snapdragon S4 Krait SoC next week and I would assume that we are also going to hear some things related to Win8 tablets out of CES in the following days. The wording of this description also confirms that AT&T is going to be a windows 8 launch partner in the US same as for Windows Phone (there’s also a Nokia dev session on the same day..but we already knew that the AT&T version of the Lumia 800 is a go).

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Qualcomm licenses Imagination Technologies PowerVR IP

File this under the: Strange but possible tag. Buried in Imagination Technologies interim financial results today is the following information:

Licensing

Strong licensing activities

  • Addition of several new key partners including MStar, Ricoh, Qualcomm, Rockchip
  • Many new and extended agreements with existing partners including Sony, Intel, Mediatek, Renesas, Samsung, Sigma, Realtek

This is as far I know the first mention of Qualcomm as a PowerVR IP licensee ever and really interesting given that the San Diego chip manufacturer currently develops its own GPU and graphics IP after its acquisition of ATI’s mobile division a few years ago. The timing would suggest that Qualcomm may have licensed the Rogue GPU IP but until we have more detail we can only speculate at this point. If that was the case then I wouldn’t expect to see any PowerVR tech in QC’s SoC until after the Krait generation of chips (unless the licensing deal is nothing more that patents stuff after all).

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Microsoft confirms Dual-Core and LTE Windows Phones coming in the future

I think that we all knew that this would be the case but just in case you doubted it Microsoft’s Andy Lees has recently confirmed that future Windows Phones’ probably running Apollo Windows Phone 8) will support Dual-Core SoCs and LTE networks. As of right now Windows Phone 7 only supports single core SoC and frankly isn’t in need of anything more powerful given that the current crop of devices (the new MSM8255 based one and older QSD8250 phones) are smoother and more responsive than any Dual-core Android handset currently on the market.

“They’re all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that’s the point,” But, he insisted, Microsoft isn’t opposed to dual-core chips, but wanted to wait until the software was more ready to take advantage of multiple cores.

As far I know, and I could be wrong here, the current CE Kernel used in Windows Phone doesn’t support Dual CPU configurations so we aren’t missing much anyway. That’s why I’m thinking that we may have to wait until Windows Phone 8. Lees also added that LTE handsets are also planned:

“The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing,”

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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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HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio announced

HTC has announced its first Beats Audio certified handset today; the HTC Sensation XE. As the name implies the Sensation EX is essentially nothing more than a premium version of the original HTC Sensation released earlier this year. The only difference is the higher clocked MSM8X60 SoC which is now running Dual-Core CPU at 1.5ghz instead of 1.2Ghz and the Beats Audio optimization (which I willing to beat are simply software based). The Sensation XE will also ship with Beats By Dre headphones just in case you didn’t get the memo about the $300M investment that HTC made in the audio brand a few weeks ago.

The HTC Sensation XE will be available in early October in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Nothing really exciting here besides the fact that this is HTC most powerful handset to date.

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HTC Jetstream Honeycomb tablet announced: Coming to AT&T September 4th

It’s been a while since I posted about and Android product but this one deserves to be talked about because it is HTC’s first Honeycomb tablet and also the first one powered by a Qualcomm SoC instead of the Nvidia Tegra 2. The HTC Jetstream (formerly known as the HTC Pucinni) features a 10.1 WXGA screen and is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8X60 SoC cloced at 1.5ghz (dual-core CPU). It will also feature an updated version of the HTC Sense UI for tablet which was introduced on the HTC Flyer earlier this year.BEst of all; it’s launching this Sunday on AT&T Check out the full specs:

HTC Jetstream Specifications

  • LTE (700/AWS)
  • HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100 MHz)
  • EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • HTC Sense™ UX for tablets
  • Display: 10.1” WXGA HD screen
  • Processor:  Third-generation Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • Camera: Front Facing 1.3 MP, Rear facing 8 MP and Dual LED Flash
  • Battery: 7,300 mAh
  • Expandable Memory:  MicroSD up to 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 7” (l) x 9.87” (w) x 51” (d)
  • Weight: 25 ounces

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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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