Qualcomm showcased its latest version, Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform, one which will be available shortly to developers and will feature a dual core MSM8660.
The current MDP contains the single core MSM8655 and is available exclusively through BSQUARE for around $999.
Such a platform allows developers to create, optimise, test and showcase "multimedia and graphics-intensive applications".
In effect, the MDP provides with the foundation of mobile phones that will be available over the next 12 months; as surprising as it may seems, Qualcomm chose to stick with the ARM Cortex A8 rather than the A9 as for most of its competitors (Tegra 2. OMAP4, Samsung Orion, Nufront).
The MSM8660 that powered the MDP we previewed came with integrated Wi-Fi and the Adreno 220 GPU and will be manufactured using a 28nm process; it was sampled last June 2010 as the third-generation chipsets from the Snapdragon platform.
Interestingly, it supports power profiling application which means that developers are able to finetune power consumption on the platform; the MSM8660 is also the only SoC where the speeds of each core can be changed independently of each other.
Physically, the new MDP looks like a smartphone, albeit a plastic one. It has a front facing camera plus a 13-megapixel camera but Qualcomm's Leon Faraseti says the MSM8660 can support up to 20-megapixel models with the ability to use two lenses, to create a 3D picture or movie, a definite possibility.
We played with Qualcomm's Deep Sea 3D User Interface which showcases the graphics performance of the Adreno 220 GPU, one which it says will rival with console gaming systems.
When connected to a 3D compatible television via HDMI, the phone can display full HD 3D images and the few demos we saw showed no signs of sluggishness; indeed, it would be hard to say that a phone was actually capable of delivering this content.
Even more interesting is the fact that some component providers like Masterimage are planning glassless 3D displays for smartphones which means that by the end of the year, high end handsets should be able to record and display content in 3D.