SAN JOSE, Calif. – Qualcomm released a white paper on its next-generation Snapdragon S4 mobile applications processor, giving a few additional details of the 28nm chip expected to ship before June 2012.
The S4, designed for 28nm process technology, includes up to four custom Krait cores based on Qualcomm extensions to the ARM Cortex A9. The cores reportedly use a new 11-stage pipeline that can issue three instructions per cycle, providing a performance boost of up to 60 percent over Qualcomm's current Snapdragon chips.
The cores and their L2 caches can run at separate voltages and clock rates, a feature which can help lower power 25 to 40 percent, Qualcomm claims. The chip also contains an upgraded Qualcomm graphics core, the Adreno 225. It provides 50 percent greater performance and twice the memory bandwidth of the current Qualcomm graphics core. It also supports the DirectX 9.3 APIs of Windows 8 and includes a unified shader architecture.
The chip set, known as the MSM 8960, includes a multiband baseband supporting LTE, 3G radios. Qualcomm said it will support all the "commonly used [LTE] frequencies" between 700 to 2,600 MHz at bandwidths up to 20 MHz, but did not list which of the 40 globally used bands it will handle.
Among other radios, the chip supports Bluetooth 4.0, FM, GPS, Glonass, NFC and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Nvidia recently disclosed details of its Tegra 3 chips shipping later this year. The company said it will use a novel multiprocessing approach employing a low-power fifth core. It claimed its chips will be more power efficient that those of Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 uses up to four custom Krait cores.