by September 6, 2013 0 comments

Amid high speculation that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note III will feature Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 800 processors, Michelle Leyden-Li, Senior Director, Marketing, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, throws light on the edge their latest chipset – a quad-core one – has over its octa-core counterparts.

So, how does it compare against the likes of Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, MediaTek MT 6592 and Nvidia Tegra 4? “You don’t necessarily need more CPUs. It’s a gimmick and is an inefficient way to do it. We have specialised GPU, DSP and other functions to deliver highest performance at low power and latency. As a platform, we deliver the best user experience from design standpoint,” she said.

Already the HTC One, LG Optimus G Pro and Samsung Galaxy S4 sport the latest Snapdragon processor and it’s just a matter of time before we see more and more devices being equipped with it – touted to be a high-performance System-on-Chip (SoC).

Recently, Qualcomm senior vice-president, Anand Chandrasekher, thrashed octa-core processors as ‘dumb’ as well as indicated that they won’t get in to the eight core game. “We design top-of-the-line SoCs in Snapdragon 800, which has our own CPU, GPU, DSP, modem, audio, video, etc, which is not the case with the competition,” pointed out Leyden-Li.

The comprehensive set of solutions, according to her, is crucial in delivering the expected performance within the design constraints of mobile devices. The Snapdragon 800 boasts a 28nm HPm quad-core Krait 400 CPU at up to 2.3GHz per core, Adreno 330 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and a Multithreaded Hexagon DSP to enable ultra-low power applications like music playback, enhanced audio and advanced editing applications. So much so, CPUs make up only 15 to 20 percent of Snapdragon chipsets, with GPUs, DSPs, LTE modems and other major components occupying the remaining space.

Also, the latest series is touted to support superfast apps and Web browsing, high-end graphics, multimedia capabilities, seamless communications and extraordinary battery life for premium smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs and digital media adapters.

All these components of the processor are also driving user experiences such as 4k Ultra HD video capture and play back (with four times 1080p pixel density), Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound and dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs). “Few other ISPs support cameras that are capable of capturing 55 MP images, but Snapdragon 800 enables it using dual ISPs. We have also made it extremely gesture- and touch-friendly using all our capabilities.”

At CES 2013 held in January this year, Qualcomm demonstrated how remotely users control and interact with a Snapdragon 800-powered device with a simple gesture of their hands. The Snapdragon 800 also comes loaded with Snapdragon Voice Activation – a pioneering, integrated always-on, low-power listening feature, besides ultrafast 640 Megapixel/second capture speeds and computational camera.

Another major component of the processor is the integrated modem that supports LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation, which improves LTE user experience with up to a doubling of data speeds.

Even though the number of cores has stayed the same as its predecessor, the re-architected Snapdragon 800 is said to deliver more than 50 percent more performance. As all components are embedded on a single piece of silicon, they work together seamlessly to deliver optimised performance, thereby enabling impressive features, such as camera sensors with zero shutter lag and high-speed LTE Advanced web browsing up to 150 Mbps.

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