Qualcomm has announced what is technically a new chipset today in the upcoming Snapdragon 850 - and it's probably not what you think. While it could power your next laptop (maybe), you almost certainly won't be seeing the Snapdragon 850 in your next phone.
Qualcomm seems to be changing its processor naming strategy once again, because logically, you'd think the Snapdragon 850 would be the next iteration of its flagship mobile platform, but in fact it's just a Snapdragon 845 designed with laptop and similar form factors specifically in mind. What's that mean? It's not clear exactly, but if you look at the specifications, you'll see a Snapdragon 845 - Kryo 385 CPU cores, Adreno 630 GPU, Hexagon 685 DSP, 1.2Gbps LTE, and Spectra 280 image signal processors. Read More
ARM unveiled its brand-new A76 CPU design at an event in San Francisco today, and while it may not be in your next smartphone, there's a good chance it'll be in the one after that. And it's going to make it a fair bit faster - around 35% faster than ARM's current top-of-the-line core.
If you're not familiar, ARM is the company behind the CPU instruction set used in essentially every modern smartphone (and yes, that includes the iPhone), and it's also behind the core CPU designs used in the vast majority of them. That includes chips made like Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, with a high-performance processor that is essentially a slight tweak on ARM's current A75 design. Read More
It's definitely hard to keep up with all the different quick charging technologies. Most flagships use Qualcomm Quick Charge, some (like the Pixels) use USB-PD, and a few others use custom tech like OnePlus Dash Charge. Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 is over a year old at this point, but for one reason or another, most devices have stuck with QC 3.0. Read More
Consumer virtual reality started picking up steam a few years ago, but both desktop and mobile VR required a separate device to power the experience—either a PC or a smartphone. We're starting to see the first standalone VR headsets now with the Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage. These headsets have Qualcomm chips, but they're the same ones used in phones. Qualcomm has just announced a new design purpose-built for VR and AR applications. It's called the Snapdragon XR1, and it'll launch later this year. Read More
Back at the end of February, Qualcomm revealed that it was working on an entirely new 700 series of SoCs, meant to bring many higher-end features like the Kryo core architecture and Custom DSPs to a more accessible price—and partly to replace the Snapdragon 660, which didn't quite belong in the 600 series. Today Qualcomm has announced the first of the chips for this new series: The Snapdragon 710 mobile platform. Read More
Despite frequent updates, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is definitely stagnating from a hardware perspective. Most watches use Qualcomm's Wear 2100 processor, which is over two years old at this point. At long last, the company is working on a brand new mobile chipset for wearables, which will arrive this fall. Read More
Qualcomm announced today that it's working with Google to get Android P to more devices, sooner. The chipmaker had early access to the new OS version, allowing it to optimize its Snapdragon 845, 660, and 636 processors "to ensure readiness for OEMs to upgrade to Android P at the time of launch." Read More
Qualcomm doesn't have to worry about a hostile takeover anymore, but the company is still trying to please stockholders. It previously promised to reduce costs by $1 billion, and part of that seems to be laying off a large number of employees.
Qualcomm has begun cutting 1,500 jobs in California, with some positions being eliminated in other locations as well. Read More
Yesterday, it was announced by the US Commerce Department that ZTE had violated terms of its settlement with the government and was being subjected to a seven-year ban of the export of any American goods or technologies for use in its products. Today, according to Reuters, a source familiar with discussions between Google's parent company Alphabet and ZTE says the two are still very much undecided on whether the Chinese smartphone maker will be able to continue using the Android operating system.
Android is an open source piece of software, so it's hard to imagine that any entity - government or otherwise - could realistically prevent ZTE from using it. Read More
In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a new platform "purpose-built for IoT devices" and a couple of new system-on-chips to go along with it. The company is calling the new program the Vision Intelligence Platform, and its new chips will be used in devices like robots and smart cameras. Read More