qualcomm

Qualcomm today announced its next-generation mobile processors for the Snapdragon 800 family – 810 and 808. These new chips are designed to deliver even better performance and delight compared to what’s currently available to handset vendors today. The main improvements with these two chips is the 64bit architecture and Cat 6 LTE.

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According to a report by Times of India, India’s handset players LAVA and Karbonn will launch their Windows Phone devices in coming months.

At the Mobile World Congress last month, Microsoft had announced nine new OEMs as Windows Phone partners. Out of these nine - Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, LAVA, Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, and ZTE – Karbonn and LAVA are two Indian handset brands which have managed to capture significant market share in the Android smartphones category.

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Fire up your Windows Phone and you’re running on silicon from Qualcomm. Every Windows Phone in existence has been powered by Qualcomm’s system-on-a-chip. Recent phones, like the Nokia Lumia 1520, are powered by Qualcomm’s latest chip – the Snapdragon 800 processor. While the first batch of Windows Phone 7 handsets were powered by earlier Snapdragon processors. Last week at CES we spent some time looking at the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processors, the latest and greatest chip from the San Diego-based company. Here’s what you can look forward to in future Windows Phone devices.

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Qualcomm just announced their new high-end processor, the Snapdragon 805. It’s the successor to the Snapdragon 800 found on several high-end devices including the Nokia Lumia 1520 we recently reviewed. Qualcomm claims the 805 is their highest performance processor designed to deliver the highest quality mobile video, camera and graphics.

The new Snapdragon 805 features the new Adreno 420 GPU, which offers up to 40 percent more graphics processing power than its predecessor. It is the first mobile processor to offer system-level Ultra HD support, 4K video capture and playback and enhanced dual camera Image Signal Processors (ISPs), for superior performance, multitasking, power efficiency and mobile user experiences.

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Nokia announced the Lumia 2520 Windows RT 8.1 tablet at its conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. Microsoft had already unveiled the Surface 2, but which tablet is more appealing? According to Qualcomm executives, the Nokia RT tablet is the one to invest in, with a "clear advantage" over the Surface 2 with regards to the speed of the processor, graphics power and wireless connectivity.

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Last fall, Windows Phone joined the world of wireless charging with the introducing of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X on Verizon. The feature was met with mixed reviews, but anyone who has used it will testify to its usefulness. It’s a shame devices like the Lumia 925 and 1020 need covers to add the feature. All Windows Phone devices that can charge wirelessly do so by using the Qi wireless standard.

Qi is currently the leading standard for wireless charging, but others are challenging it. So what happens now that Qualcomm and Verizon have joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the management board for the Qi standard?

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Did Qualcomm just confirm the Lumia 1520's new advanced chipset? [Updated below]

The upcoming 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 is expected to be announced next month and released in the US for November. While many points about the device have already come forward, it’s still nice to get some seemingly solid confirmation on specifics.

In this case, the official Qualcomm Twitter account responded to a Mika B. regarding the brand new Snapdragon 800 chipset. Mika simply noted “See you in Lumia 1520 with superior 20 Mpx Camera” to which Qualcomm surprisingly replied “You are correct – and we’re proud to be a part of that awesome device.”

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We’re still going through all the details of the recently announced Nokia acquisition by Microsoft and are getting a clearer understanding of all the implications of the transaction. Needless to say, Microsoft is going to come out ahead of this deal and it will be something for its competitors to take note in the morning.

The biggest impact is of course Nokia’s favored patent portfolio, which was already wielded as a weapon against their Android rivals in addition to Microsoft’s treasure trove of license agreements. But just as interesting, Microsoft sees the deal with Nokia as boon for its OEM business and they are expecting the acquisition to help with OEM opportunity.  

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Surface RT is great device. You’ve got beautiful hardware, held back by a somewhat under-whelming processor. The Surface RT launched in October 2012, nearly a year after the Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip inside of it did. Now, clearly Microsoft has more planned for the Surface brand than the Surface RT and Surface Pro. Obviously for the Surface Pro we can expect some Haswell magic for their Intel processors, but what about Surface RT? How about Qualcomm?

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Our recent trip to the Game Developers Conference focused mostly on games, as you might expect. But the hardware behind the software is fairly important too. For Windows Phone, Nokia is certainly the device manufacturer doing the most to grow the platform. But regardless of the handset maker, one hardware manufacturer provides the chipsets for all Windows Phone devices: Qualcomm.

We sat down and interviewed Michelle Leyden-Li, the Senior Director of Marketing at Qualcomm about the hardware that drives Windows Phone and Windows RT devices. Check out the video after the break!

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Talk about odd timing. Today Qualcomm gave information about their Quick Charge 1.0 system, a method by which modern smartphones can re-charge up to 40% faster than predecessors.

Qualcomm also provided a list of 70 supported devices and yes, the HTC 8S, 8X, Samsung ATIV S and Nokia Lumia 820, 822, 920 and 920T (China) are all also on board. It’s a neat and subtle feature that’s all part of the new Snapdragon chipset, requiring no new hardware—basically if you own one of these phones, you already have it and have been using it.

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Nokia, Verizon and Qualcomm look to shake things up during a power conference at the beginning of November The International Wireless Power Summit 2012, set to take place on 1-2 November, will involve industry heavyweights discussing furthering the cause of moving Wireless Power into the mainstream. We have recently seen Nokia go forward and incorporate Qi wireless charging into its new Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones. A bold move but it is just the start...

The event, which will last two days, will also see Daimler AG, Phillips, Powermat Technologies and the Wireless Power Consortium all presenting.

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The Nokia PureView 808

It’s a big question whether or not Nokia’s upcoming lineup will feature any PureView technology in it. While it’s nice to dream of a 41MP camera alongside Windows Phone 8, we’re holding down our excitement until we learn more because so far we have seen little to make us believe otherwise.

Now, the Nokia team (via Twitter) have teased users with the following exchange between themselves and Philip G. He was asking and hoping for some PureView love in the next Lumia series form Nokia. Nokia replied with the following:

“Just keep your eyes and ears open in the next coming weeks....”

That certainly seems like a reference to the joint Microsoft announcement that Nokia is hosting in a few weeks here in New York.  From our own sources, we’ve been leaning towards no PureView device this time but instead slightly further down the road, as Nokia plans to release numerous Windows Phones over the next year.

With Nokia’s tweet though, we could be looking at something sooner. But the question for us is What is PureView exactly?

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Enrico Salvatori, president of Qualcomm CDMA technologies in Europe, has informed TechRadar that the chip geniuses are working with Nokia on a roadmap of handsets, and the single core Lumia family is just the beginning.

We are working on a road map [with Nokia] and not a single device, a single launch. It's an important collaboration for Qualcomm, so we are very excited about working together. It's been very effective in terms of time to market because we developed the phone together. It's been a very successful development.

Salvatori moves onto state that it was an achievement to get the Lumia 710 and 800 to market within a tight time frame, which no one can disagree with. He also notes that Qualcomm is proud to support Windows Phone and is currently the only chipset on the game board.

The Nokia collaboration is also very much about the Windows Phone ecosystem and, of course, we at Qualcomm, as you know, are supporting on our platform the Windows Phone software and actually at the moment we are the only supplier supporting the integrated solution.

Of course, we know that ST-Ericsson is set to supply the Finnish handset manufacturer with low-end chips for more affordable devices, which Nokia (and Microsoft) are looking to introduce. There's no denying that it's going to be exciting to see what future low-end (and more advance) hardware comes to the platform.

Source: TechRadar

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Although Qualcomm is sitting comfortably with Microsoft and Windows Phone, it looks like their monopoly on the OS has finally given in. Today, ST-Ericsson has announced a deal with Nokia to supply low-end chipsets for upcoming Windows Phones. The deal both confirms and contradicts and earlier report about Microsoft's plans, though it does reinforce earlier rumors of a Nokia-ST Ericsson alliance.

So far, Qualcomm's chipsets, while diverse and flexible in design, have only been used in "high end" phones. Microsoft and especially Nokia though have been keen on cracking the low end market found in developing/emerging countries and ST-Ericsson will reportedly help in that area. STMicro's shares were up 4% and Ericsson's was up by 2% as of the news. From ST-Ericsson:

"We are pleased to have been selected by Nokia as a key partner for Windows smartphones, in line with our goal to be present in all segments and major operating systems," said Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson. "Our NovaThor platforms continue to gain traction as they enable customers to bring great smartphones to the market."

This is an early breaking story so we expect more details soon. The current Lumia devices (710 and 800) both use Qualcomm chipsets and that's expected to stay the same.

Source: Reuters; Finanz Nachrichten; Specs of the U8500 chipset after the break

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Bloomberg just ran an interesting story interviewing President of the Windows Phone division Andy Lees, who's been making the press round lately.

The gist of the interview focuses on how it used to cost $400 to produce a Windows Phone back in 2010, but for this next generation of devices, production costs for OEMs are down to about $220. The goal though is to lower that even further to below $200, which will allow Microsoft to essentially flood the market with devices ranging from low-end (where Android dominates) to high-end (where the iPhone and other Android phones take the lead).

Something we haven't heard about though is that there is a tiered licensing based on cost of production for the OEM. The cheaper it is for them to make a phone, the less they have to pay Microsoft. So even though Redmond would be making less per device, the aim is have more devices to make up the difference.

The other real interesting tidbit is the acknowledgment that Qualcomm is the only semiconductor partner Microsoft is working with for Windows Phone:

Microsoft works exclusively with Qualcomm to develop chips that power handsets using its system, allowing it to specify technical details to ensure devices run more smoothly, the executive said.

There is currently no plan to work with other semiconductor makers for Windows Phone 7 devices, he said.

That contradicts earlier information about Nokia working with ST-Ericsson for dual-core CPUs. Indeed, even Qualcomm is on board with Nokia these days. While this doesn't rule out other semiconductors such as Samsung's own Hummingbird, it looks like Qualcomm has a favorable position with Windows Phone for the near future.

Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the heads up!

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In Istanbul, Turkey at Qualcomm Inovation 2011, Qualcomm released information about upcoming Snapdragon architecture Krait , which will feature full support for Windows 8. Leading the way in the smartphone market (and dominating Windows Phone 7), Cristiano Amon, vice president of product development at QCT (Qualcomm CMDA TECHNOLGIES), said the following about Windows Phone 8:

"When we go to the Windows Phone 8, we can with the fact that we again work with them [Microsoft] and our work position speed look forward to probably be the first to market with a Windows Phone 8 platform."

While we're aware that Microsoft wishes to bring their ecosystem closer together, this is promising news that hardware manufacturers and chip brains are working harder at bringing the next-gen tech to Windows Phone.

Source: NordicHardware

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In an interesting story over at the Inquirer, Raj Talluri, VP of product management at Qualcomm revealed that they were never exclusive to Microsoft or Windows Phone, that in fact there was and still is not a written agreement between them and Redmond.

At least with regards to the first generation of Windows Phone, Qualcomm was thought to be an exclusive partner with Microsoft. As it turns out, they are certainly a valued partner but there was no reason for companies to use other, competing platforms like Broadcom, nVidia or Texas Instruments. Even the Focus and Omnia 7 eschew Samsung's own processor for Qualcomm's. That for us raises the question as to why? One reason is we know Qualcomm had ported and worked on WP7 for a long time and perhaps their processing solutions were just a better value for OEMs. From back in March:

“We stepped out some time ago with a major investment in high level operating system and porting to Microsoft was one of those. So we’re the first to port the Win Mobile 7 and I think we’re the only chip set provider yet today. That was a good year effort of hard work for us to get to that point.”

Will the second generation of Windows Phone devices be any different? We've heard of ST-Ericcson stepping into the picture, but nothing concrete yet. Even Nokia is using Qualcomm now. What about you? Are you happy with Qualcomm or are you looking for some alternatives from other vendors?

Source: the Inquirer; via Windows Phone Daily

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We're not going to recapitulate the whole torrid history of Nokia and Qualcomm, we'll just say that the two have buried the hatchet and moved on.

As a sign of perhaps good faith, we noticed (and wondered) what the "Q" logo was during the Sea Ray's boot sequence (0:46). MonSmartphone was sharp enough to make the connection that it's Qualcomm's "Q" meaning that indeed, Nokia and specifically the "Sea Ray" will be sporting some of Q's silicon under the hood. While not ground breaking, we'll file this under: interesting.

[Side note: Had you told us five years ago about a Nokia device running a Microsoft OS and using a Qualcomm processor...well, we would have said some funny things about you. Times are a changin'!]

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Well, it's just a matter of time before our Windows Phones get a dual-core processor, right? Currently, we have just single-core, up to 1GHz CPUs on our phones, but Qualcomm looks to change that with their MSM8x60 chipset.

This info comes by way of Qualcomm's own site which lists Windows Phone as a supported OS (they need special drivers to interact with the chipset, see Qualcomm's discussion here). What makes all of this interesting is we know that the Qualcomm MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 chipsets have been approved for the Windows Phone chassis specifications, but this is the first we're hearing of a dual-core MSM8x60 chipset and Windows Phone mentioned together.

We should note though that just because it supports Windows Phone doesn't mean it's a chassis option, at leastd for right now. But it does show that evidently, a lot of the leg-work is already done in porting the chipset to our OS.

The MSM8x60, is currently featured in the new HTC EVO 3D and features a strong arsenal of technology, including:

  • Dual Scorpion-cores up to 1.5GHz
  • Adreno 220 GPU
  • 1080P video and playback
  • HDMI mirroring
  • Dolby 5.1
  • 3D capturing and playback
  • 16MP dual-camera support

Sounds good to us, now hopefully we can see some phones this fall, rocking some Mango with this bad boy on board.

Source: Qualcomm; via MonSmartphone

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