Tag Archives: snapdragon

NVidia: first mobile quad-core devices will be this year

Qualcomm was first to announce a quad-core mobile chipset here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – the Snapdragon APQ8064 – but NVidia says it will be first to market, with its quad-core successor to Tegra 2, code-named Kal-El. NVidia expects a Kal-El Android tablet to ship in August 2011, with smartphones to follow in the autumn. Qualcomm on the other hand says that samples of the APQ8064 are anticipated to be available in early 2012, implying that products will come later next year.

Kal-El is the successor to Tegra 2, and said to be 5 times faster. It also includes a 12-core GPU and supports HD video up to 12560×1600 – amazing for a low-power mobile chipset.


A prototype is running on NVidia’s stand here and while my snap does not show the quality, you will have to take my word that the graphics looked excellent.


Single chipset religion unhelpful to Microsoft-Nokia alliance

Here at Mobile World Congress all the big system-on-a-chip (SoC) vendors are jostling for position, including Freescale, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Of course Nokia’s recent announcement that it will focus on Windows Phone for its smartphone platform is a big discussion topic; and without mentioning names I can tell you that many of the execs are talking down the announcement and expressing scepticism.

Plenty of reasons to be sceptical; but one of the issues is that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is currently the only chipset which Microsoft supports. This is in contrast to Android, which runs on all these platforms.

The talk is that Microsoft was forced to specify Snapdragon in order to get its new phone to market quickly. That said, the long-term consequences of this focus are not good for Microsoft, since it has in effect driven all the other SoC vendors towards Android. Much effort goes into optimizing these chipsets for specific software, whether that is an OS, a video codec, or a runtime such as Flash or Java.

Windows Phone 7, or its successors, will not necessarily remain Qualcomm-only, particularly in the light of Nokia’s plans. Right now though, you can understand the lack of enthusiasm for Microsoft’s mobile OS among these other vendors. Even if the policy changes, it will take years before they can catch up, presuming that they want to.

Change the subject to full Windows though, and eyes light up. The prospect of Windows on Arm, announced at CES in January, is a good one for these manufacturers, since with the exception of Intel they all use Arm processors.