Will Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 Take Mobile to the Next Level?
When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the iPhone 5S, it had one thing in particular to boast about: it was the first 64-bit smartphone on the market. This meant it would be able to handle more memory and more complex applications — essentially, it was more advanced. Now, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) intends to turn the tides fast.
Qualcomm is responsible for a large number of the microprocessors and systems-on-a-chip in Android and Windows phones on the market today. According to Gartner, it ranked third for revenue in 2013 in the worldwide market for semiconductors with an estimated $17.28 billion, which represented a 31.1 percent growth. It fell behind only Samsung (SSNLF.PK), which benefits from the sales of its own branded smartphones, and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which offers many chips to the PC market.
The introduction of the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 and 808 will likely help the company stay ahead in the mobile processor market, as both will be 64-bit chips paired with impressive peripheral components. Not to mention it will have hard hitting cores and plenty of them.
Reports on the exact specifications of the Snapdragon 810 and 808 vary. Anadtech has a full sheet of specs for the two SoCs, and says the Snapdragon 810 will have an 8-core processor with four ARM Cortex-A53 cores that could clock in at 1.8 GHz each — as that’s what they have clocked in at in other processors — and four more cores of the ARM Cortex-A57 architecture, which should clock in even faster. The Snapdragon 808 would be similar, but only have two of the higher-end ARM Cortex-A57 cores. In contrast, PCWorld reported that the Snapdragon 810 would have a quad-core processor, while the 808 would have a 6-core processor — the seems like it may have been an error, as it would suggest the 808 could be the more powerful of the two.
Both the Snapdragon 810 and 808 will support high-resolution video footage, though only the 810 will be able to support 4K video, which it will be able to do at 30 frames per second, according to PCWorld. The 810 will also be able to run the video out through HDMI 4.1 so the 4K video can be enjoyed on a bigger screen.
In addition to the fast cores, the 810 will include two units of LPDDR4 RAM, which can run at a much faster rate than the RAM included on previous SoCs, and can do it with lower energy needs. The 808 will feature slower, more power-hungry RAM than the 810, but it will still be faster RAM than the older Snapdragon 615.
Both chips will also include advanced connectivity hardware, including the Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, according to PCMag. The RF360 enables numerous types of network connections, which could be very popular with smartphone manufacturers irritated by the need to design numerous different models to be supported by the various mobile networks around the world.
These chips should help Qualcomm keep its strong position in mobile processors while hurting Intel’s ability to gain ground in the field. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) may be a real winner with these chips, as it will be able to push a 64-bit Android operating system more widely in order to remain competitive with Apple. PCMag reports that Qualcomm expects these chips to appear on the market next year.
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