LONDON -- Qualcomm Inc. has announced two variants to its Snapdragon S4 class of applications processors – the MSM8625 and the MSM8225 chips.
Both provide dual-core CPUs operating at up to 1-GHz, Qualcomm's Adreno 203 GPU and an integrated 3G modem. They are designed to be drop-in replacements for the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A chips, which are in use powering some smartphones. The introduction of the S4 devices gives smartphone manufacturers the ability to migrate existing Snapdragon S1 based designs to 3G capable designs, Qualcomm said.
The S4, designed for 28-nm 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. However, the latest processors are not Krait-based, Qualcomm said. They use a dual-core ARM Cortex A5 core running at up to 1 GHz and implemented in 45-nm CMOS.
Qualcomm is also providing reference designs (QRD) that include software and hardware components that allow mobile phone vendors to have large parts of their products pre-tested and optimized for the QRD development platform.
The platform includes the hardware and software needed for basic smartphone functionality This includes the memory, sensors, touch panels, cameras, displays, RF, etc. and software including browsers, map/navigation, mail, music, instant messaging, fonts and languages. The use of QRD allows customers to focus engineering reshttp://cms.eetimes.com/ContentCreator/SelectContentItemTypeources on developing differentiating features.
The MSM8625 and MSM8225 chips will be available on Qualcomm’s third generation QRD development platform in the first half of 2012, in addition to being available as standalone chipsets. QRD development platforms based on both the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A chipsets are currently available.
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