Qualcomm has announced a new micro-architecture for its Snapdragon chips to drive future smartphones and tablets, offering speeds up to 2.5GHz, up to four processor cores and integrated multi-core GPUs for high performance graphics.
The new architecture, codenamed Krait, will redefine performance for the mobile industry, delivering 150 per cent higher overall performance, while cutting power consumption by 65 per cent compared with current ARM-based chips, Qualcomm claimed.
"Just as the original Snapdragon revolutionised smartphones with the first 1GHz processor, these new generations of Snapdragon will revolutionise the next wave of mobile entertainment and computing," said Qualcomm executive vice president Steve Mollenkopf.
Upcoming chips based on Krait will be built with a 28nm production process and include the dual-core MSM8960, which was trialled by the company last year, along with a single-core MSM8930 and a quad-core chip called the APQ8064.
The latter chip is expected to meet performance requirements from the next generation of computing and entertainment devices, including support for console-quality gaming and rich user interfaces.
Due to begin sampling next year, the APQ8064's four asynchronous cores can be independently controlled for maximum efficiency, according to Qualcomm, while graphics performance will be delivered through an integrated quad-core GPU, the Adreno 320, which is claimed to have 15 times the performance of the original Adreno.
The single-core MSM8930 is also set to arrive in 2012, and will be the first smartphone chip with an integrated LTE modem in a bid to bring this high-speed technology to mass-market handsets.
It also sports a built-in GPU, the Adreno 305, which is less powerful than the 320 but still offers six times the performance of the original Adreno design.
Meanwhile, samples of the MSM8960 will be available in the second quarter of this year, which means that it could find its way into devices by the end of 2011.
The dual-core chip will feature the Adreno 225 GPU, which is rated at eight times the performance of the original Adreno.
All the new chips will have Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and FM radios, quaintly labelled a "quad-combo of connectivity" by Qualcomm. Also included is near-field communications, and support for stereoscopic 3D video and photos.
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