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]