SAN JOSE, Calif. - At its analyst meeting in New York on Wednesday (Nov. 17), Qualcomm Inc. has rolled out a new version of its Snapdragon chipset, based on a 28-nm process.
Geared for smartphones and tablets, the chipset will feature a new CPU core. ''The MSM8960 will be a dual-core chip using an upgraded CPU core based on a new micro-architecture that delivers approximately five times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip at 75 percent less power,'' according to Qualcomm (San Diego).
It will feature an integrated multi-mode modem that supports LTE as well as all 3G modes. It will offer upgraded graphics capabilities with four times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip, as well as built-in integrated connectivity for WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth and FM, according to Qualcomm.
The MSM8960 will also be the first Qualcomm chip built on 28-nm process technology and will begin sampling in 2011.
At present, Qualcomm has been selling the MSM8x60 chipset platform, which consists of the MSM8260 and MSM8660. Based on 45-nm and ARM-based technology, this Snapdragon chipset also makes use of dual-CPU cores running at up to 1.2-GHz. Qualcomm's device is being used in smartphones from HTC, Google, among others.
The MSM8960 is also said to be based on ARM, but Qualcomm did not elaborate. Qualcomm licenses the ARM architecture and puts its own spin on the technology. It also did not identify the foundry.
In January, wireless technology company Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif.) said it was working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) on 28-nm process technology and that it intends to move directly to the advanced process. Qualcomm and TSMC worked together on the 65- and 45-nm manufacturing process technologies.
In July, Qualcomm expanded its foundry roster, by announcing a deal with GlobalFoundries Inc. Initially, GlobalFoundries (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said it intends to provide Qualcomm) with access to 45-nm low-power and 28-nm foundry technologies, with an intended collaboration on future advanced process nodes.
Mobile phones are one area that will see a major improvement with multiple cores. Had these been available with the "old" Windows Mobile, it could have had the best user experience of anything on the market. (IMHO). I haven't used an iphone 4 but my iPod touch is nice, handy, response and limited. The user inerface is great for information coming out at you, not good for you sending information to it.
Good to see Dual Core Snapdragon finally touching the market. Thought Qcom is pretty late to market since Nvidia Tegra 2 was available from long back. But they cleverly leapfrogged to 28nm process compared to Tegra 2 which is at 45nm. Cant wait to see the benchmarks :)
Five times is feasible if you are comparing this dual-core processor against a single core (QSD8250), some IPC improvement due to OoE and some clock speed boost.
You can read more about this processor here as well: http://bit.ly/aFSS1D
My guess is that it is 5x the performance at 75% less power for a constant workload (in other words, per instruction).
This is not just market-ese, though it could have been worded more clearly. In many cases, consistent workload is a good model for battery life--barring the performance boost enabling a new highly used feature--, while the 5x performance allows improved responsiveness (a 500ms response time might be usable--i.e., the feature is enabled and will consume its portion of power--where 100ms may become more pleasant [even the constant feature with improved response time can drain more power by reducing human thought-time and, of course, increasing the frequency of use]) as well as enabling new features.
Five percent performance sound like a really a lot of perfromance. How thay are able to get so much with so less power. Is it because of ARM processor inside the chip. But the processor sounds cool with its all integarted wireless capabilities such as WLAN, GPS, Bluettoh. Thats more like a system on chip solution for any mobile phone.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.