Qualcomm superchip to arrive next year

Mobile tech war accelerates with Snapdragon S4

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has lifted the lid on the firm’s next generation of mobile ‘system on chips’ dubbed the Snapdragon S4.

The new chip offers a slew of improvements over the current generation including a transition from 45nm to a 25nm production process which will offer multicore clock speeds between 1.5 and 2.5GHz.

Announcing the Snapdragon S4 in a white paper, Qualcomm also revealed that the next-gen chip will be the first to incorporate 4G LTE radio capabilities into the same chip and updated Krait CPU core boosts performance by 60 per-cent as well as offering independent per-core clock speeds.

Qualcomm appeared to take aim at Nvidia’s Kal El, claiming that the Snapdragon S4’s aSMP (asynchronous symmetrical multi-processor) technology "eliminates the need for ‘companion’ or ‘little’ cores", as each of the processor cores could be "completely collapsed" to low power idle.

The Snapdragon S4 will offer from 25 to 45 per cent power reduction over ‘current’ multiprocessor architectures, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm is also upping the ante on the graphics front with a new Adreno 225 GPU with twice the memory bandwidth of the previous Adreno core, offering 50 per cent greater graphics performance.

Adreno 225 also offers new graphics features to support DirectX 9.3 for Windows 8, the first Qualcomm SoC to support the upcoming Microsoft OS.

Carrying a part number of the Qualcomm MSM8960, smartphones and tablets carrying the new chip should arrive in the first half of 2012 which it’s expected to go head to head against rival chips such as Samsung’s Exynos 4212, TI’s OMAP 5 and Nvidia’s Tegra 3 ‘Kal-El’.

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