Qualcomm, makers of the Snapdragon processor that is commonly found in smartphones and tablets, has announced a version of its processor that its capable of improving graphics capabilities and even enabling 4K Ultra HD video recording and playback.
Qualcomm, best known for supplying the chipsets that appear in most smartphones and tablets in recent years, has announced that it will become a direct player in the consumer market with the release of a smart watch set to go on sale on Cyber Monday.
Qualcomm is still the leading producer of smartphone processors, according to the latest Strategy Analytics report. Qualcomm secured a 44 percent revenue share of the processor market, making the San Diego-based company the leading supplier in the first quarter of 2012.
Qualcomm has revealed that it plans to stop producing the fancy Mirasol displays that it has been teasing for the past few years. Mirasol displays garnered a lot of interest because they were an e-paper-like display that could show full color images without the use of a backlight. Few devices with Mirasol displays have ever made it to production, with the most recent being an e-book reader limited to the Korean market. Qualcomm says that while it won't be producing Mirasol displays itself, it does hope to license the technology to other manufacturers in the future.
Qualcomm has reported its earnings for the third fiscal quarter this year, and as we have seen in other quarters, things have been good for the chip maker.
Qualcomm is making it easier for Android developers to take advantage of the capabilities baked into its Snapdragon processors with the release of a new software development kit. The new SDK provides developers with access to a number of hardware accelerated options on the Snapdragon processor that were not previously available.
During the unveiling of Windows Phone 8 earlier today, Microsoft confirmed that it would still be partnering with Qualcomm for the processors in Windows Phone 8 devices, just as it had with the earlier Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones. Windows Phone 8 won't be saddled with yesterday's silicon, however, as Qualcomm has revealed that the processor inside the upcoming smartphones will be the Snapdragon S4 Plus model.
Qualcomm has announced the acquisition of Summit Microelectronics, a company that specializes in producing power management circuits. Qualcomm says that this purchase will greatly enhance its power management roadmap for future processors, and that the company will be better able to produce battery-efficient processors with advanced capabilities like 4G LTE support. Qualcomm says that all of Summit Microelectronics' employees will be a part of its CDMA Technologies division. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Qualcomm may have rebranded its Snapdragon line with S1 through S4 monikers just last year, but apparently the company didn't feel that the rebranding was enough to prevent customer confusion with its various processors. The company announced this week that it will further differentiate its lineup of processors with Play, Plus, Pro, and Prime names.
Qualcomm has announced that it will add support for Clearwire's planned LTE TDD network to its Snapdragon processors and Gobi modem chipsets, and that the updated chips will be available later this year.