Qualcomm teases ultra-fast Snapdragon

Chip maker Qualcomm has outlined its roadmap for the next year, including its plans for a dual-core Snapdragon system-on-chip device built on a 28nm process and designed for premium smartphones.

The announcement, which came during the company's regular analysts' briefing, suggests that the MSM8960 Snapdragon processor will feature a pair of next-generation processing cores capable of churning through calculations five times faster than its current chips while consuming a quarter of the power.

Although clockspeeds weren't revealed as part of the roadmap, it's clear that Qualcomm believes the move to a 28nm process is going to bring some serious enhancements to its chip offerings - and further drive the nails home in Intel's plans for its Atom chips in the premium smartphone sector.

The company also confirmed that the Snappierdragon SoC design would include an integrated GPU capable of delivering around four times the graphics performance of current ships, suggesting that it may be based around ARM's Mali-T604 reference design.

Interestingly, the company claimed that the 'game performance' of the new SoC would be roughly equivalent to that of Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's PlayStation 3 - in a smartphone.

The Snapdragon MSM8960 is also set to include an integrated LTE-compatible 3G broadband modem, supporting all 3G modes, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and even FM radio connectivity.

Sampling of the new SoC is expected to start next year, suggesting that it'll be late 2011 or early 2012 before devices based on the chip are ready for purchase.

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