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New Snapdragon offers 5x performance

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipset? smart phones? tablets? LTE?

Qualcomm Inc. unveils the latest version of the Snapdragon chipset, the first based on a 28nm process.

Designed for smart phones and tablet computers, the chipset features a new CPU core. "The MSM8960 will be a dual-core chip using an upgraded CPU core based on a new micro-architecture that delivers approximately five times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip at 75 percent less power," according to Qualcomm.

The chipset's graphics capabilities are four times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip. Its integrated multi-mode modem supports LTE as well as all 3G modes, and it has built-in connectivity for WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth and FM, according to Qualcomm.

The chipset will begin sampling in 2011.

Qualcomm is currently selling the MSM8260 and MSM8660 chipsets which are based on 45nm process and ARM-based technology. They use dual-CPU cores running at up to 1.2GHz. They are used in smart phones from HTC, Google, among others.

The latest chipset, MSM8960, is also said to be based on ARM, but Qualcomm did not provide the information. Qualcomm licenses the ARM architecture and puts its own spin on the technology. It also did not identify the foundry.

In January 2010, Qualcomm said it was working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd on 28nm process technology and that it intends to move directly to the advanced process. Qualcomm and TSMC worked together on the 65- and 45nm manufacturing process technologies.

In July, Qualcomm expanded its foundry roster, by announcing a deal with GlobalFoundries Inc. Initially, GlobalFoundries said it intends to provide Qualcomm with access to 45nm low-power and 28nm foundry technologies, with an intended collaboration on future advanced process nodes.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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