07
Jan
800

If you thought the Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Droid DNA was snappy, get ready to redefine snappy. Not to be outdone by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 announcement yesterday, Qualcomm has detailed its own 2013 ARM chips. The S4, S3, etc. naming scheme is no more – the new chips are the Snapdragon 800, Snapdragon 600, Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 200. The 600 and 800 are the new high-performance processors in Qualcomm's lineup, and that's where the company is focusing most of its attention.

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The Snapdragon 600 will be running on four new Krait 300 cores (at clock speeds up to 1.9GHz), and should be able to deliver 40% more power than the S4 Pro while consuming less battery. The Snapdragon 600 will still be using the Adreno 320 GPU, but it's gotten a small speed boost. This chip should show up in mobile devices in Q2 2013.

The top-of-the-line Qualcomm ARM processor in 2013 is going to be the Snapdragon 800. This chip will be cranking away with four Krait 400 cores (not to be confused with the Snapdragon 400 package), which are new 28nm variants of Qualcomm's custom application processor. The Krait 400 can be ramped up to 2.3GHz per-core in the right configuration. Qualcomm is also implementing the new Adreno 330 GPU, a faster LTE radio, and 802.11ac in the Snapdragon 800 package. All told, the Snapdragon 800 should improve on the last-generation S4 Pro's performance by 70%. 800 chips should show up by the middle of the year.

Qualcomm claims to have over 50 devices lined up for the Snapdragon 600 and 800 product lines, and I can't wait to see how they perform. The company was very keen to talk about the high-end chips, but details are still scarce on the "value" Snapdragon 400 and 200. Full PR below:

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2013/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is sampling the first products in its latest generation of processors. With the introduction of its newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 processors, Qualcomm continues to lead the industry by once again raising the bar on performance per watt and delivering unparalleled user experiences.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors target premium mobile and computing devices. They are designed to deliver outstanding overall user experience, expand the possibilities of seamless connected computing and enable brand new mobile experiences while maintaining industry-leading battery performance:

  • Visually stunning mobile experiences : Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors include the new quad core Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Hexagon v5 DSP and our latest 4G LTE Cat 4 modem and deliver increased system performance and platform upgrades that further enhance user experience.
    • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors will deliver up to 75 percent better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and the move to 28nm High Performance for mobile (HPm) technology node ensures exceptionally low power
    • New Krait 400 CPU in quad configuration, with speeds of up to 2.3 GHz per core offers best-in-class performance per watt, so processor performance can hold up to the more demanding processing and communication requirements of premium mobile devices
      • Additionally, asynchronous SMP architecture provides dynamic power sensing and control for peak performance per core, while extending battery life without the use of specialized cores
    • New Adreno 330 GPU delivers more than 2x performance for compute applications over the current Adreno 320 GPU
    • 2x32bit LP-DDR3 at 800MHz with industry-leading memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps
    • New Hexagon DSP V5 delivers floating point support, dynamic multithreading and expanded multimedia instructions for enhanced low power performance
    • New IZat location technology combines multiple tracking systems into a single high performance, highly accurate navigation platform for auto and pedestrian applications
  • Seamless communications anytime, anywhere : Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors offer fully integrated connectivity and a wide variety of communication options.
    • Third generation 4G LTE modem with data rates up to 150 Mbps (Category 4), fully integrated in the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors
    • 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation feature to maximize radio frequency bandwidth
    • World multimode and multi-band support using wafer level package (WTR1605)
    • Integrated newest generation mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, 802.11ac
    • Broad connectivity support with integrated USB 3.0, Bluetooth and FM
  • Breakthrough multimedia experiences : The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors also introduce the very latest mobile experiences.
    • Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)
    • Dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) for Qualcomm Snapdragon Camera with support for computational camera
    • HD multichannel audio with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus for enhanced audio
    • Higher display resolutions (up to 2560x2048) and Miracast 1080p HD support

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors are currently sampling and expected to be available in commercial devices by mid-year 2013.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor targets high-end mobile devices. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor is designed to deliver great performance, rich graphics and enhanced user experience and will deliver up to 40 percent better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at lower power. The new processor offers system-wide architectural improvements, key component upgrades and expanded connectivity options. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor features a new Krait 300 quad-core CPU with speeds up to 1.9GHz, a new speed enhanced Adreno 320 GPU and support for LPDDR3 memory. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor is sampling now and is expected to be available in commercial devices by second quarter 2013.

"With the overwhelming success of our previous Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, our mobile processors have emerged as the platform of choice for high-end mobile devices," said Steve Mollenkopf, president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm. "With more than 50 design wins already secured with the first products of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, we are advancing our vision and setting the standard for excellence in mobile computing."

For more information and to see a demonstration of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors, as well as the newest devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, please visit Qualcomm during CES 2013 (South Hall 3, Upper Level, Booth #30313), Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas or visit www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon .

[Qualcomm 1, Qualcomm 2]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • http://twitter.com/whatisajimmy ok

    *weeps into my hands* i literally just got my Droid DNA today because I wanted a Snapdragon Pro really bad :(

    • chris125

      That's why you never buy right at the end/beginning of the year

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        Except if you're buying a Nexus ;)

        Although I am waiting for this X Phone. Sounds hugely exciting. Should think it'll use the Snapdragon 800, 2gb RAM, 4.7-5" screen, 1080p, 13mp camera. Of course, it's not all about the specs; the guy leading the project at Moto originally came from Google and says he went to Moto to 'reinvent the smartphone'.

    • TylerChappell

      Comment back soon on the battery life since I have seen mixed reviews all over and I dont want another Thunderbolt battery experience!

    • EH101

      14 day return period... Just saying.

    • JLM

      It's an awesome phone, if you're always waiting for the next great thing you'll never get anything. At least, that's how fast things are progressing with phones.

  • ProductFRED

    And just like that, the Sony Xperia X(L), HTC Droid DNA, and LG Nexus 4 are all outdated.

    • http://twitter.com/Maschil Maschil

      haha

    • TylerChappell

      My thoughts exactly! But anyone who gets a Snapdragon S4 Pro device should easily be happy for the next couple of years to come.

      • PINJ

        Nah. Not Really.

        • arcwindz

          Why not? unless you use your phone for latest gaming or dekstop replacement =D

          • troph

            Don't listen to him, he trolls everywhere on Android Police.

    • C.E. Barnes

      Good, I am ready to snap one up when it hits $99

    • I Don’t Feel Like Logging In

      And then, at Google I/O 2013, the Nexus 4 gets Android 5.0 before anyone else while all other phones are waiting upwards of 6 months till forever. The complaining to Google on their G+ and Twitter then starts all over again about why their 2013 phone is still running 4.0.x, 4.1.x, 4.2.x, and, even worse, 2.3.x.

      No one wants Nexus devices for the hardware, we want them for the software. That makes it last longer than any phone with high-end hardware. This time next year, those new end devices will be still on old versions of Android while the Nexus 4 and 2013 Nexus will be on the latest and greatest.

      • malcmilli

        yes the software is obviously very important, and although i disagree about those devices being "obsolete"(obsolete to me means no longer supported by newer apps/features), you should not ignore peoples yearning for highend hardware in the nexus.

        Why cant the phone have both highend hardware and software? I wanted a galaxy nexus on sprint, but by the time it came out, i could not pass up on the Evo LTE (far superior camera and far superior battery life and superior screen). Software is obviously great, but ill take almost as good software with great hardware over great software with shitty hardware any day of the week.

        Hardware and software need to both be leading edge.

        • http://twitter.com/elmo61 Stephen Williamson

          But theses arent out for 2 Quarters. Thats June?

          and thats only the first round phones will be then, So a new Nexus coming out in Novemeber isn't that far from June really.

          Nexus brand has in the past really lagged behind, with the galaxy nexus released when the quad cores were about to come out. and it didnt have the best hardware when it was released. (not far off what was available though)

          The nexus 4 had the best hardware possible when released. Mixed in with top software makes it better than other phones getting released with old androids on them.

          Your idea of almost good software with great hardware over great software with shitty hardware is almost the wrong way around. Its person opinion but I think of the Nexus brand has having almost as good hardware with great software. Where was other phones have shitty software (skins) and great hardware.

          I'll take software over hardware any day. After all, Google looking after your phone and android means they won't release a insane feature that just cripples a old nexus phone.

          • malcmilli

            The Nexus 4 was a step in the right direction. And i have no complaints about the Nexus 4's hardware other than LTE and perhaps only 16gb of storage (although i could live with that personally). My reference about not good hardware was based on the previous nexus' not the current release.

            I believe your opinion on almost as good hardware/shitty software (skins) is a solid stance, i just personally disagree (again with previous nexus). You can always overcome the shitty skin with a stock android rom, however you cannot overcome hardware that doesnt fit your liking (lack of lte, bad camera, bad battery life, bad radios, build quality, screen etc.)

            I believe im much happier running an Evo LTE with CM10 than i would be running a Sprint Nexus. I was all for the Nexus 4 but it didnt come to my carrier. My ears will be open for the Nexus 5 or Google X phone, but if those arent super crazy, i'm sure i'll be satisfied with a galaxy s4.

      • PINJ

        Well That Changed When The Most Powerful Phone Was Released For The Cheapest Imaginable Price.

      • Lte_Addict

        agreed! the nexus 4 is future proof because of the software and i will be getting it. but i do have a feeling the galaxy s4 will launch with 5.0 because its gonna be announced in may the same month as google i/o, sounds like a coincidence huh?

        • Sootie

          Bhahahaha you really thing samsung would release something with up to date software.

      • adi19956

        So true. On top of that because we only paid half the price of a normal phone we can get the next one and not feel guilty about spending too much money

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      All of these phones availability is pretty pathetic. The DNA is pretty much US and Japan only, the Nexus 4 is as close to vaporware as a launched product is.

      The Nexus 4 is such a pathetic case, that I no longer care about it, I will wait for the rumored "X" device.

      • Elias

        I'm not even from the US and I already ordered and received two 16gb N4 from the Play Store. With bumpers. And I didn't even had the cc with billing address in the usa, which is required by the Play Store, so I also had to find a way to work around this AND have them delivered in my country. So quit whining, you're not trying hard enough.

        • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

          Why should I need to try "hard enough" to get a fucking phone, I'm paying them, not the other way around.

      • PINJ

        Nexus 4 IS Better Than Your Next 3 Devices

    • malcmilli

      not really sure i understand completely... new soc's come out every couple of months... in 2012 we saw tegra 3, s4, exynos 4, s4pro... all hit the market each outdoing another.... im not sure how any phone is ever going to avoid being "outdated."

    • NeoLawliet

      Wrong. The APQ8064 on the Nexus 4 was a late 2012 chip. So the phones getting released in late 2012 is not out of date. In fact, the phones using such a new chip already makes them very "up to date", whatever that means.

      The new 28 nm Snapdragon 800 will be the new variants of the APQ8064 will not appear in phones until later this year. Conclusion? You can never be "up to date" unless you want to keep waiting for the next phone and never get one.

  • Bryce Mrozinski

    Well see ya later Experia Z.. You were just a twinkle in my eye.. Guess I'll be keeping my S3 for a bit longer...

    • ProductFRED

      Same lol. I was seriously considering the Z because it has a better camera, better processor, better build quality, screen, and design. But then, they had to go and use an outdated processor. I wish they would at least say, "the final version will use the newest Snapdragon 600/800 processor." The new ones are projected to be 40% more powerful while using less battery. Sorry Sony, but that's a huge difference.

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        If 'the final version' used the newest processor, that would be a complete redesign of the whole phone. I would think the Z has been in development since late October 2011, probably even earlier than that tbh.

        Sony, HTC etc probably have the 800 and 600 processors now, and will have had the development kits for them for a while; they'll be hard at work on the first phones to use them. It's not as easy as 'the final version of this phone will use the latest processor'.

    • PINJ

      I Was Never Interested In The Z

  • Ickkii

    After this presentation I don't know how anyone will take qualcomm seriously anymore. Maroon 5, a random director, big bird, a nascar driver, spock... I'm afraid they'll drive the pikachu car through the stage to end this circus. Nvidia took CES so far.

    • PINJ

      What? Seriously?? Dang Gotta Get Myself Some Better Internet So I Can Watch That

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        Please, please stop using capital letters for the first letter of every word. It isn't needed.

  • chris125

    Hopefully these will be less confusing than the s4 naming scheme

  • Himmat Singh

    2.3GHz clock speed for 4 cores is mind boggling. I believe the more gaming-orientated ones will still go for Tegra 4 devices, but for everyone else, this should be the way to go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.richesin Jordan Richesin

      I had a kick when I was so into android gaming and the I realized there is a perfectly good Xbox sitting in my room with a cozy controller and a nice big screen TV. I've given up all hope for the android gaming on mobile platform systems this year. I'll always be outdated. XBoxes have had long as hell shelf life. I only paid $150 bucks for this beast and halo 4. I shelled out $525 for my GS3 which by then middle of this year I feel will be overshadowed by nvidia and the to drool over tegra 4 chip sets... Leaves a sick stomach syndrome.

      • PINJ

        Yes You Paid 150 For That Beast And Halo4 Please Connect It To Your Obviously Free TV And Then Carry All Of It With You In Your Trouser Pocke tAnd Play It On The Go. Btw, Call Your Friends On It Too While You're At It.

        • malcmilli

          even if he spend 150 bucks for xbox, 60 bucks for halo, and 300 bucks for a 32 inch tv it still comes out cheaper for a console with a 10 year life span, yeah i know you can add in the xbl fee of between 25-60 bucks depending if you are on a family plan or not but he was simply referring to focusing on gaming on his phone not being all that worthwhile comparatively.

  • TylerChappell

    Those numbers are super impressive. I can't wait until Q2 to upgrade from my Thunderbolt though, I will be getting a new phone before then and right now the Droid DNA is the only option that wouldn't give me extreme buyer's remorse even though I don't want to give HTC any more money.

    • EH101

      The S4pro in the DNA is great to be sure, but in real world performance the Note 2 is just as good except when it comes to the best of games. That's if you can handle the size of course.

      • PINJ

        No Sir, It Is Not.

    • RocketScience11

      pst.... optimus g.... the phone everyone loves to ignore. I have one and the only thing it could use is a better camera. Its camera is pretty decent but not great. The phone itself is phenomenal, especially if you get on board with all the new development starting to come.

      • JLM

        It has the same hardware as the Nexus 4 except it's better, at least the sprint version. The sprint version has LTE, more storage and a better camera than the Nexus 4. The At&t version has LTE and expandable storage but not the better camera. The three LG phones and the DNA all share the same processor and ram. The DNA has the ridiculously awesome 1080P 5-inch screen. I only have the Nexus 4, so I'm only going by specs and some reviews, not by me actually testing them.

      • TylerChappell

        Well unfortunately the Optimus G is nowhere to be found on Verizon's network, so yes, it makes sense for me to ignore it.

  • http://twitter.com/elliotthj91 Elliott HillJennings

    Still feeling the Tegra 4

    • PINJ

      Me Too

  • Elias

    I'll just leave this here.

    • PINJ

      Excellent

  • Felix Klein

    Wow, 70% faster than S4 Pro?
    I mean, when I had the SII, i thought it was incredibly fast, same with the HOX and the SIII, but the Nexus 4 blows all of them away, can't tell how a phone could get any faster :O

    • PINJ

      The S2 Is The Best Galaxy Ever Made. And 70% Faster Doesnt Mean Anything.

      • Felix Klein

        Well, I liked the SIII better than the SII even though they both aren't compareable with the N4.. ;)
        And 70% faster means err 70% faster, which is a lot?!

  • PINJ

    "Industry Leading Performance Of 12.8Gbps"??? Pfffft Qualcomm Please, Have A Look At iPad4 Willya.

  • Tom

    wait, this supports video recording at 4k res? going by:

    Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)

  • Mike Yost

    Getting more and more excited for my contract ending in October. Looks like a great year (again) for smartphones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

    I'm no expert but I was always led to believe that Krait cores were better than A9's but a shade behind A15's. Is that true? If so, wouldn't the Tegra 4 still have the advantage here?

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      According to Wikipedia, "The successor to Scorpion, found in S4 Snapdragon SoCs is named Krait and has many similarities with the ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and is also based on the ARMv7 instruction set", which is the case with Apple's A6x as well, so yeah, I guess the Tegra is the only true A15 chip that has been announced. But looking at Nvidia's history, I'd say all new processors might still beat it in performance as they've always done. :P

      • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

        ah. Well I know Exynos has A15's as well in the Nexus 10 and Samsung chromebook but I just wondered. Still 70% faster than the S4 pro is a big-time achievement

  • Brandon

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if the S4 Pro was theoretically 100% faster than the original S4 processor, as it is a quad core processor running 4 Krait cores clocked at 1.5 ghz instead of 2 cores, won't the difference in processor speed between the 800 and the S4 Pro be less than that between the S4 and S4 Pro?