Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 give clues on smartphones to come

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 gives clues to smartphones to come
Qualcomm - snappy

Not to be outdone by Nvidia's new Tegra 4 processor, Qualcomm has unveiled its latest high-end mobile-friendly chipsets at CES 2013, with the Snapdragon 800 promising to bring UHD video and mind-boggling battery performance to phones and computers later this year.

Qualcomm says that the high-end Snapdragon 800 will deliver 75 per cent better battery performance than the current top-end S4 Pro.

It's all thanks to the move to the 28nm manufacturing process coupled with a new Krait 400 CPU quad configuration that brings better performance per watt of power.

Qualcomm's also managed to fit asynchronous SMP architecture in, which ekes the best possible performance from each core without needing specialist cores.

Fight the power

So, in short, lots of power saving moves being made. That doesn't mean the processors will skimp on nifty new tricks though; the Snapdragon 800 chip will allow phones to record and play back Ultra High Def 4K video, as well as improving still photography, global 4G/LTE with certain add-ons, multi-channel HD audio and allowing for higher-res displays (2560 x 2048).

Excitingly, Qualcomm reckons the Snapdragon 800s will be making their way to high-end devices and thus our pockets by the middle of 2013.

And it's not just intended for the top-end smartphones - the 800 processor is also designed for Smart TVs, tablets and digital media adapters.

Somewhat overshadowed by the 800 but still impressive is the new Snapdragon 600, intended for mid-to-high-end mobile devices and offering rich graphics and 40 per cent better battery performance than the S4 Processor that's around now.

It comes with a new Krait 300 quad-core CPU with speeds up to 1.9GHz, a speed-enhanced Adreno 320 GPU and support for LPDR3 memory.

The Snapdragon 600 should also hit phones sooner than the 800, expected by the second quarter of the year (April-June).

Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's president and COO, said that the Snapdragon 600 and 800 already have "more than 50 design wins… secured" between them, so we could feasibly see some of the first devices on show at MWC 2013. We sure hope so.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.