You may remember back in January, just a couple days before CES, Qualcomm announced a few new processors. One of which was the Snapdragon 802. This was a smart TV chip that was going to be going into smart TVs later this year. But according to Qualcomm, the demand for smart TV processors are “smaller than anticipated”. Which isn’t all that surprising, since many have failed with smart TVs, just look at Google TV.
On Friday, in a small press release, Qualcomm announced that they had cancelled the processor. “Qualcomm has decided not to commercialize the recently announced Snapdragon 802 processor as the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than expected.” Wrote Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Public Relations, Jon Carvill. “This decision is specific to the Snapdragon 802 processor and does not affect other products we are currently shipping in this segment.”
The Snapdragon 802, was in the same family as the Snapdragon 800 and 805, which are both very powerful chips. The Snapdragon 802 had a 1.8GHz quad-core processor based on the Krait architecture, along with an Adreno 330 GPU with support for 4K video and integrated 802.11 ac WiFi as well. Obviously, any Qualcomm-powered smart TV would get by just fine with the Snapdragon 800 or another Qualcomm processor, but it’s still nice to have a chip in your Smart TV that is optimized for smart TVs.
What is the most surprising here is the quick cancellation of the chip. As processors typically take a couple of years to develop. The Snapdragon 802 was scheduled to start sampling with OEMs in early 2014, which means the chip was just about ready, and just in the final testing stages, but it looks like Qualcomm has scraped that altogether.
I’d love to have a smart TV powered by the Snapdragon 802 processor, what about the rest of you? Any of you surprised that Qualcomm cancelled it so quickly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.