News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday January 08, 2013.
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Qualcomm and NVIDIA have been in an arms race to deliver better processors for mobile devices, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon has responded to NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor with its own sizable upgrade of the quad-core chips released last year.
The new Snapdragon 800 processor features a quad-core Krait 400 CPU that can reach up to 2.3 GHz on each core. Qualcomm states that the new processor delivers 75 percent better performance the Snapdragon S4 Pro found in devices like the HTC DROID DNA, which means there's a significant bump in speed and capability. It also uses 28nm HPm technology designed to use less power and offer "extreme" battery life.
Other Snapdragon 800 highlights include:
- Adreno 330 GPU with performance twice as good as the Adreno 320.
- 12.8GBps memory bandwidth.
- HD Audio support for DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound.
- UltraHD video with resolution four times as high as 1080p (up to 4096x2304).
- 4G LTE Cat 4 and 802.11ac wireless connectivity that boosts the modem to reach up to 150 Mbps on cellular or up to 1 Gbps on Wi-Fi (Those are theoretical max speeds; network configuration and connections will dictate how fast devices can reach).
- Dual image processors that can capture 3D, merge multiple photos into a 55 megapixel image, have separate autofocus and captures, and records 1080p30 video.
Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 800 series to begin appearing in smartphones and tablets at some point in mid-2013. Around that same time, manufacturers will begin delivering devices with the Snapdragon 600 processors, which also aims to balance power with battery life. The Snapdragon 600 includes:
- Quad-core Krait 300 CPU running at up to 1.9 GHz.
- Adreno 320 GPU with support for GPGPU, OpenGL ES 3.0, Open CL, and Renderscript.
- LPDDR3 RAM, which increases the speed that data can flow between components, leading to faster overall performance of the processor.
- 40 percent better performance than Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.