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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 802 to Power 4K Smart TVs and Set-Top Boxes of the Future

January 6, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Qualcomm isn’t set to take stage at CES 2014 for a few hours and yet, they’ve already been pretty busy so far today. Announcing not only a price cut of their Toq smartwatch but, the Snapdragon 602A for the “connected car“. Well, here comes some more processor-related news from Qualcomm and this time, it’s another entry to the Snapdragon 800 series, the Snapdragon 802 which is Qualcomm’s foray into all of this “4K” nonsense. For those that don’t know, 4K is the next big thing when it comes to Television and it’s set to make “Full HD”, that’s 1920 x 1080, look stupid on screens that go wall way up to 102-inches in size. Smart TVs are set to be crucial during this onslaught of 4K, as one of the only bonafide methods of getting 4K content to your display is over the Internet, with a very speedy connection required.

So, just how does Qualcomm’s latest processor come into all of this? Well, the Snapdragon 802 is designed for multimedia and can be built into either smart TVs themselves, or into set-top boxes such as the Roku or even future Google TV (or is that Android TV?) boxes. Qualcomm’s latest can handle four Full HD streams simultaneously and can even upscale 1080p content to 4K, helping the insanely rich get the best out of their 4K TV even if there’s no 4K content out there. Much like the Snapdragon 800, the 802 features four Krait CPU Cores but, this time they’re only clocked at 1.8 Ghz (probably due to heat concerns) and features the very same Adreno 330 GPU, too.

With the news that LG is putting WebOS into their 2014 line of smart TVs, it will be interesting to see just where the Snapdragon 802 will end up. For sets that only offer 1080p, it seems a little bit like overkill and with folks like LG and Samsung producing their own CPUs, the 802 might remain a processor that lurks in the shadows, waiting for 4K to really take off, which is of course, only a matter of time.