It's been two and a half years since Qualcomm revealed its first dedicated wearable chipset, Wear 2100, and, in that time, there's been no major update. This has led to some doubt regarding the chipmaker's interest in the market — a crucial element for Wear OS' continued existence, considering Qualcomm powers 80 percent of Android smartwatches out there now. The San Diego chipset giant asserted its continued intention to dominate the Wear OS market today, however, with the reveal of Wear 3100 — and the subtext of the announcement has indications for the industry at large. Read More
Qualcomm is looking to tackle some of the issues with Bluetooth audio with its new aptX Adaptive codec. Its key feature is that it dynamically adjusts to what you're consuming, which should not only improve audio quality overall, but also reduce latency in A/V content like videos and games. Read More
Not only are chipset makers racing to 5G, there's also a constant push towards shrinking fabrication processes. The smaller the process, the smaller and more power efficient a chip can be – or, conversely, the more transistors it can fit, making it more powerful at the same size. As it stands, 10nm is as little as it gets when it comes to commercially available mobile processors, but that won't hold true for long. Shortly after Huawei quietly announced that its Kirin 980 system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be built on 7nm process technology, Qualcomm has announced that its next flagship chipset will also be built on the 7nm process node. Read More
In the ongoing battle to be at the forefront of 5G, Samsung has shot into a prominent position with the Exynos Modem 5100. The electronics company and chipset manufacturer today revealed a mobile modem built to the newest 3GPP-official 5G standards that features not only 5G functionality (using both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrum), but also support for legacy wireless technology from 4G LTE all the way back to 2G GSM/CDMA. Read More
When an OEM chooses a Qualcomm SoC for a phone, the first thought is whether to include a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 series chip or something cheaper. The 700 series was recently unveiled, but before that the next best thing has been a 600 series processor such as the Snapdragon 660. Qualcomm's latest announcement introduces a successor, the predictably named Snapdragon 670. Read More
Qualcomm doesn't make smartwatches (anymore), but it does make smartwatch chips. Almost all Wear OS devices for the last several years have run the aging Snapdragon Wear 2100. Rumors have swirled in recent months that Qualcomm would finally launch a modern successor, and September 10th might be the day. Read More
Starting all the way back in 2016, Qualcomm set its sights on purchasing NXP. Both being huge semiconductor companies operating in overlapping fields, there was some question of consumer benefit and market competition if the deal went through. EU regulators expressed some concern before relenting, and back in June Chinese regulators were said to be ready to grant their own blessings. Turns out, China's enthusiasm may have been overstated, as Qualcomm is set to terminate the NXP acquisition based on the continued absence of regulatory approval from the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), presumably as a result of the ongoing trade tensions between it and the US. Read More
It seems like 5G is one of those things that's perpetually sitting out on the horizon in tech news, but today Qualcomm took a decent step forward when it comes to a particular implementation. One of the carriers' more ambitious 5G solutions is to harness the high-frequency millimeter wave (mmWave) bands, which promise high bandwidth and low congestion, at the cost of limited coverage and some practicality concerns. But with Qualcomm's recently announced mmWave antennas, some of the issues related to it may be overcome. Read More
When it comes to making processors for Android smartphones, Qualcomm is by far the market leader. MediaTek trails, focussing mainly on budget hardware, and then there are proprietary chips from the likes of Samsung and Huawei, but they aren't used outside of a few of their own products.
Qualcomm has a range of SoCs to cater for mobile devices of any level, but the mid-range market is where the money is right now. With that in mind, the company just announced three new chips: two in the lower mid-range 400 series and one in the higher mid-range 600 series. Read More
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