Perhaps you've just finally gotten your mobile devices all upgraded to the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, and maybe Bluetooth 3.0 is enough to get you through the day. Qualcomm apparently has no intention of standing still, though. At Computex in Taiwan, Qualcomm has just demonstrated the first chip that will bring 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to your next Android tablet. This is the chip first announced back in February, but now it's a real thing.
If you were to come up with your ideal phone, the specs would probably look like those rumored for the mysterious LG LS970 on Sprint. This phone will reportedly have the Qualcomm APQ8064 (Snapdragon S4) at its heart. This is a quad-core 28nm Krait chip with the next-generation Adreno 320 GPU. Since this is an "APQ" chip, that means a separate LTE data modem will be used, currently listed in the leaked profile as the MSM9615.
It's nothing new for images or specs of a device to leak prior to its announcement, but this time it does dash the hopes of some Android fans to bits. The Samsung SPH-L300 for Sprint was first leaked in a user profile that lacked any real information. It was put forth that this could be the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy S III already in testing, but if this new leak is to be believed, this is a completely different and thoroughly mid-range device.
Amongst the smorgasbord of features Samsung announced for its newest flagship device the Galaxy SIII, the wireless charging accessory seemed the most no-brainer. Wireless power has been a dream for almost everyone, but aside from short-lived products, such as the Touchstone that was available for Palm's Pré phones, they have not really become a reality.
Today Samsung and Qualcomm, together with a group of other technology companies, announced a new initiative that aims to promote the "global standardization of a wireless power transfer technology".
The more capable and powerful S4 "Pro" variant of the original dual-core MSM8960 chipset (which can be found in the HTC One X, for example) will feature an Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to Adreno 225 in the regular S4 MSM8960. Before this announcement, Adreno 320 was scheduled to accompany only the quad-core Krait CPUs, like the APQ8064 and the MSM8974 which won't be coming out until late 2012/early 2013.
Last night we got some hands-on time with HTC's new family of smartphones - the One series. While we didn't get a hands-on video with the One X (largely due to a dead battery), we did spend a fair amount of time with the One S, which shares most of its hardware with its larger sibling.
The main difference between the two lies in the displays. The One S packs a 4.3" SAMOLED qHD display (540x960), while the One X has HTC's new 4.7" S-LCD2 HD screen (1280x720).
Shortly after the announcement from HTC CEO Peter Chou at Mobile World Congress that AT&T would be a launch partner for the new One X, the US's number two carrier let fly a press release confirming the statement. What's there to take from it? Not much.
The primary differentiating features of AT&T's version will be a dual-core Snapdragon S4 (as opposed to quad-core Tegra 3) processor, as well as LTE connectivity.
Just two days ago, we saw how blazingly fast Qualcomm's new Krait-based Snapdragon S4 CPU is in dual-core MSM8960 guise. Today, they've announced that the S4 line of CPUs - including the MSM8960 and its quad-core brother APQ8064 (seriously, who came up with this naming system?) - will pack the next-gen 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec.
Support for the new spec comes courtesy of Qualcomm's Atheros WCN3680 chip, which packs a 1x1 802.11ac chip with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM on-board.
The de facto hardware experts over at AnandTech have spent some time with the newest CPU from Qualcomm: the MSM8960, sporting the new 28nm Krait architecture in dual-core, 1.5GHz form. They've put it through their suite of benchmarks including Linpack, SunSpider, BrowserMark, Vellamo, and Basemark OS. In a nutshell: the MSM8960 absolutely destroys every other phone/CPU on the market right now in every. single. benchmark.
An example of what to expect.
We're gradually working our way into an all-LTE world, but there are still a few hurdles to cross. One of those hurdles, the seamless handover from LTE to 3G during a VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) call, has now been achieved by Qualcomm.
So, what does that mean, exactly? Basically, if you're on a VoLTE call in an LTE network and you leave the coverage zone, the call would normally go dead. Thanks to this new chip from Qualcomm, though, that all changes.