Qualcomm made several announcements ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC), including the launch of the first LTE modem to support 1Gbps speeds and three new Snapdragon processors for the mid-tier market.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is the first to deliver fibre-like LTE Category 16 download speeds of up to 1Gbps which could, in theory, allow you to download a 4K film in around 10 minutes.
The chip improves on the X12 modem inside the newly announced Snapdragon 820 chip that supports download speeds of up to 600Mbps and is likely to appear inside the Galaxy S7. It is built using a highly efficient 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, and is sampling with manufacturers now.
"Not only does the Snapdragon X16 blur the lines between wired and wireless broadband, it marks an important step toward 5G as we enable deeper unlicensed spectrum integration with LTE and more advanced MIMO techniques to support growing data consumption and deliver an even faster and smoother user experience," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president at Qualcomm.
Alongside the X16 LTE modem chip, Qualcomm added three new processors to the Snapdragon line-up: the 625, 435 and 425.
The mid-tier chips are likely to appear in devices set to debut at MWC later this month, and are designed to deliver functionality typically seen on top-end smartphones, including camera, video, gaming and connectivity, to the broader mobile ecosystem.
The Snapdragon 625 is the most notable of the three. It's a 14nm, eight-core ARM-based processor that offers a 35 percent reduction in power consumption compared with the previous generation, and supports LTE speeds up to 150Mbps. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 chip also supports high-resolution cameras up to 24MP, 13MP selfies and 4K video recording.
The octa-core Snapdragon 435 supports download speeds of 300Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps, alongside 21MP images. It also includes the Adreno 505 GPU for PC-class graphics, according to Qualcomm.
The entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 comprises a 64-bit, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, an Adreno 308 GPU, and HD display at 60fps, and supports images of up to 16MP. This chip is targeted solely at smartphones for emerging markets such as China.
Finally, the firm also outed the Snapdragon Wear system-on-chip and platform, aimed at wearable devices.
Qualcomm tech can already be found in the majority of Android Wear devices, but the company said that the new SoC will enable wearables with sleeker designs, longer battery life, smart sensing, and always-connected experiences.
LG was quick to confirm that it will be among the first to offer a Snapdragon 2100 SoC in a smartwatch set to debut later this year.
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