Qualcomm announced the third generation of their Snapdragon platform late last year, but the chip supplier recently revealed they began sampling it this month and they have already shipped the chipsets to one of their hardware partners.
The new chipsets (MSM8260 and MSM8660) are significant because they are the first dual-CPU Snapdragons from Qualcomm. Each enhanced core runs at speeds up to 1.2GHz and they are made with the new 45nm process technology for ultra-low power consumption. Additional features of the third-generation Snapdragon include support for HSPA+ networks, a more powerful GPU, 1080p video encode/decode, and support for 24-bit WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution displays.
We don't know which hardware partner got the new chipsets first, but HTC has been the biggest supporter of Qualcomm as of late (while Motorola backs Texas Instruments).
One possible target of the dual-CPU Snapdragon could be the rumored T-Mobile Project Emerald. Talk of the supposed superphone from HTC began last month and AndroidGuys recently posted some new speculation. The device, now codenamed the HTC Vision, is said to feature a 4.3 inch display, dual-CPU processor, and the next major Android firmware (Gingerbread). Additional info says the phone will be available this holiday season and the display will feature "screen technology we have never seen before".
I wouldn't get too excited just yet, but we fully expect Qualcomm will soon deliver an answer to the new 45 nm processors coming from Samsung and Texas Instruments. The latest dual-CPU Snapdragons appear to fit that bill and the addition of HSPA+ support fits nicely with T-Mobile's promise of their first HSPA+ handset coming later this year.
If you could build your dream Android handset with a dual-CPU and HSPA+ support, what other features would you make sure to tack on?
A mockup of what the HTC Vision could look like.
The MSM8260 and MSM8660 solutions for mobile handsets deliver a new level of mobile multimedia performance, including:
- Scorpion 1.2 GHz processor and 600 MHz DSP for high levels of web application and multimedia performance
- Support for innovative 3D/2D user interfaces and console-quality gaming via dedicated, high-performance graphics engines
- 16 megapixel camera
- Full 1080p HD video playback and recording
- Support for DTS/Dolby 5.1 surround sound
- Integrated Assisted-GPS, including support for Glonass satellite services
- Support for stunning 24-bit WXGA (1280 x 800) displays
- 45nm process technology for ultra-low power consumption