Qualcomm: Snapdragon quad-core supports 20 MP cameras

Qualcomm Snapdragon
Qualcomm showed off Snapdragon's dual-core performance

During a roundtable briefing with TechRadar, Qualcomm talked up the possibilities for dual and quad-core Snapdragon – including that the quad-core chipset has support for up to 20 megapixel digital cameras.

Talking about the demand for better processor performance in handsets, Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management Luis Pineda said: "It depends also on display, bigger camera.

Some of the features we didn't talk about in the quad-core [in the press release], we have support for a 20 megapixel camera. It depends on the device manufacturer again camera size, display size and so on."

Qualcomm also says it is working on 20 tablet designs with partners as it seeks to catch up in that market following the plethora of Nvidia Tegra 2-based tablets such as the Motorola Xoom.

"We have another 150 Snapdragon designs in development and out of that 60 are dual-core and 20 are tablets. We have a good amount of partners building single and dual-core."

The latest batch of ARM-based Snapdragon chipsets include the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the daddy of the group – the quad-core APQ8064 which run at clockspeeds of up to 2.5GHz. All are based on 28nm process technology.

There's still a big market for single-core, too, said Raj Talluri, vice president of product management for Qualcomm. "Not everything is ready for dual-core. We're running a 1.4GHz dual-core [here], but it's pretty much all single threaded applications.

Qualcomm snapdragon

But dual-core will roll out across all price points. "It'll come down to tiering of handsets," continued Talluri. "We'll have low-end, mid-tier handsets and high-end handsets having dual-core. You look at the phones out there and look at Snapdragon 1.4GHz, you go and experience what you typically do. You want to make sure that what you're buying has the right level of performance."

1080p HD output and future NFC compatibility

The new Snapdragon range also features a bunch of new Adreno graphics processors – also up to quad-core. We saw a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon running a 3D gaming demo on Android through a Samsung 3D TV and the results were impressive, along with around a 60 per cent performance improvement too.

Qualcomm snapdragon

The new chips offer 150 percent higher overall performance compared to the performance of Qualcomm's earlier Snapdragon offerings but because lower frequencies across the cores they work at 65 percent lower power than currently available ARM-based CPU cores.

Qualcomm also said it would adapt NFC contactless payment technology in Snapdragon when the time is right.

"Today NFC is an increasingly popular feature," said Pineda. "Our chipsets support it through a third-party chipset. Not at this time, but I think certainly as time goes on we'll integrate it, yeah."

Talluri added: "We are interested in that and we are looking at that and as you know we acquired Atheros too." Announced last month, Atheros is Qualcomm's biggest acquisition to date.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.