NVIDIA may have kicked-off the CES with news of its Tegra 4 SoC, but now it’s Qualcomm’s turn to raise the silicon stakes, as it reveals to CES attendees what’s next for its own line of mobile processors.
After a surprise appearance from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Qualcomm announced its new chips, the Snapdragon 600 series and the higher-end 800 series. The 800 will support high-speed LTE-Advanced connectivity, along with the latest WiFi standards, and should be quite the number-cruncher with a quad-core design operating as fast as 2.3GHz. Ultra HD (4K) is all the rage at the CES this year, and Qualcomm isn’t one to disappoint, demonstrating how the 800 is capable of handling such pixel-pushing demands. More than just being able to play such video, the 800 will also be equipped to capture it itself.
Maybe even more importantly than its performance specs, Qualcomm claims that the 800 will operate with about half the power consumption of the S4 chips with which we’re currently familiar.
The first 800- and 600-based hardware should be arriving sometime in the second half of the year. The 800 employs an Adreno 330 GPU and is based around Krait 400 cores. The 600 series will be built with Krait 300 cores, will also have a quad-core design, uses an Adreno 320 GPU, and runs at speeds up to 1.9GHz.
Update: This is all part of a big naming overhaul for Qualcomm. Gone are the S3 and S4 days, and in addition to the 800 and 600 we’ll see lower-end 200 and 400-series SoCs.