Qualcomm intros quad-core SnapDragon for tablets

Qualcomm quad-core SnapDragon chip announced
Qualcomm quad-core SnapDragon chip announced

If you thought the dual-core Tegra 2 inside tablets like the Motorola Xoom was impressive, you should know that Qualcomm just announced a quad-core SnapDragon processor for tablets that can reach up to 2.5 GHz per core.

The quad-core SnapDragon APQ8064 chip is aimed at supporting larger screens and resolutions, as well as dealing with more complex operating systems. Qualcomm said the quad-core SnapDragon can offer twelve times the available performance of previous chips in this line, as well as 75% lower power draw than the first SnapDragon chipset. This lower power draw is made possible because of the industry-first Krait, a 28nm process that allows for the smallest transistor nodes in the mobile space yet.

The quad-core SnapDragon will enable HD gaming, stereoscopic 3D, video capture at 1080p HD and full playback over an HDMI port. Needless to say, this thing will be able to pump out the power.

The company said:

The APQ8064 processor will include the Adreno 320 quad-core GPU, which will deliver fifteen times greater performance than the original Adreno GPU, for a console-quality gaming experience, as well as rendering rich UI’s. With up to 20 Megapixel camera support, the APQ8064 will internally synchronize two camera sensors for 3D video recording and will support external 3D video playback.

The quad-core SnapDragon chipset should power a lineup of really cool tablets and devices but the only problem is that it won’t be available until early 2012 and that will only be in select samples. If everything works out, we may be able to check out retail devices by the end of 2012, but we’re probably looking at 2013 at that time.

By that time, the competition will definitely be on pace. NVIDIA will likely soon announce its Tegra 3 chipset and that could wind up in retail devices by this time next year. We’re also expecting that Tegra 3 to be a quad-core chipset and pack many of the same features that Qualcomm is touting with its latest SnapDragon.

Still, the future of mobile computing looks bright and it should lead to some killer devices we get to play with.

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