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Qualcomm previews Snapdragon dev't platform

Posted: 07 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Qualcomm Snapdragon? mobile Internet device? MID development platform? processor?

In his keynote at the Uplinq 2010 Conference, Qualcomm Inc. chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs revealed a new development platform for its chip line in the emerging mobile Internet device (MID) space.

For some time, Qualcomm has been pushing the chip line for MIDs, dubbed Snapdragon. Freescale, Intel, Marvell, Nvida, TI and others are pushing competitive devices.

Still, the MID market is in its infancy and there is no clear leader in the chip spaceyet. And it appears Qualcomm is behind the curve amid product delays.

But contrary to popular belief, Qualcomm is gaining traction for Snapdragon, as some 140 devices are being developed based on the chip line, Jacobs said. Qualcomm recently displayed a range of these devices, including smart phones, pocket tablets, and smart books in both full-size tablet and clamshell form factors. The smartbook device category includes devices with 7- to 15-inch displays, including clamshell and tablet form-factors.

Snapdragon-powered devices being demonstrated include Acer's Liquid and neoTouch smart phones, Dell's Streak 5-inch Android tablet, HP's Compaq Airlife 100 smart book, HTC's Droid Incredible and Nexus One smart phones, Huawei's S7 tablet and Lenovo's LePhone smart phone.

It's unclear if these products will take off. To help OEMs, Qualcomm has rolled out a new development platform designed to accelerate the development of systems based on Snapdragon, he said.

The platform includes a Snapdragon device, the MSM8655 cellphone chipset and other feature. As recently reported, Qualcomm has delayed a promised dual-core Snapdragon processor for smart books from 2009 until 2H 10, according to a company executive.

The dual-core Snapdragon QSD8672 is based on two Scorpion cores. The Scorpion is itself a Qualcomm custom core compatible with the ARMv7 instruction set. The QSD8672 device was scheduled to be the first of a third generation of processors in Qualcomm's Snapdragon family.

Meanwhile, data traffic over mobile networks is exploding, thereby requiring new technologies to keep up with the frenetic demand, Jacobs said in the keynote.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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