Qualcomm ups the ante by unleashing 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon

Qualcomm_snapdragon_chip Over the past few months, the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU has become synonymous with the latest and greatest in mobile processor technology and deservingly so, being the brains within so many of today's leading handsets. Not resting on its laurels, Qualcomm has been developing the next-generation of Snapdragon chips with talk of a higher clocked version of the existing chip, and more interestingly, a dual-core version. It looks like the company is now ready to unleash its latest creations with the announcement at Computex of the first dual-core Snapdragon processors running up to 1.2GHz.

Designated as the third generation in the Snapdragon family (the existing chips being the first), the new Mobile Station Modem (MSM) MSM8260 and MSM8660 up the ante with a single chip solution containing two enhanced cores running at up to 1.2GHz, a 2D/3D acceleration-capable GPU, 1080p video decoding/encoding, support for high resolution 24bit WXGA displays, a dedicated low power audio engine, and integrated low power GPS. The difference between the 8260 and 8660 simply lies in their network support, with the former for HSPA+ and the latter supporting multi-mode HSPA+/CDMA2000 and 1xEV-DO Rev. B. The family will also include the QSD8672, a dual-core Snapdragon clocked at 1.5GHz aimed for use in larger devices such as tablets. We also noticed that Qualcomm has stated that the second-generation Snapdragon chips, the upgraded single core 1GHz MSM8x55 and 1.3GHz QSD8x50A, are now shipping in volume to manufacturers.

I'm sure I'm not alone in being extremely excited to see these new powerhouses being used in a new range of smartphones and other mobile devices. It will be interesting to see how the performance and energy efficiency compare to the existing first-generation Snapdragon, and also to see what rivals such as TI's OMAP series have in response, not to mention the potential upcoming battle with Intel's Atom Z6xx Moorestown platform.

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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