At Mobile World Congress today, Qualcomm has announced that they have struck a deal to bring Netflix streaming to the Android platform. The news came as the chip maker was discussing their upcoming quad-core Snapdragon chip, some clocked as high as 2.5GHz. The details of the arrangement are a little lacking, but we did get some idea.
HP's upcoming 9.7-inch TouchPad tablet will ship with Qualcomm's new APQ8060 dual-core Snapdragon processor, and according to Qualcomm, this wonder chip will enable the "latest and greatest multimedia experiences in today's commercial mobile devices." That includes stereoscopic 3D, 1080p 30fps HD video capture and playback, Adobe Flash 10, and even console quality gaming, Qualcomm claims.
During an analyst meeting on Wednesday, Qualcomm announced plans to shrink the manufacturing process on its popular Snapdragon chipset from 65nm and 45nm to 28nm, according to an EETimes report.
"The MSM8960 will be a dual-core chip using an upgraded CPU core based on a new micro-architecture that delivers approximately five times the performance of the original Snapdragon at 75 percent less power," Qualcomm said.
That's a mighty claim for what's already a powerful platform, as even doubling up on performance would be a huge development. Marketing claims aside, the MSM8960 will be Qualcomm's first 28nm chip. Qualcomm says it will support LTE and all 3G modes, feature upgraded graphics with four times the performance of the original Snapdragon chipset, and include integrated connectivity for WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM.
Qualcomm plans to start sampling MSM8960 chips in 2011.
First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year, Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 hybrid tablet laptop seems to be taking forever to show up in stores. The latest delay has pushed back the launch of the U1 to 2011. The Chinese PC maker attributes the delay to the U1 not being up to the company's standards. Chinese consumers will the be the first ones to lay their hands on the redesigned product when it makes its retail debut next year.
We don't know what the IdeaPad U1 would look like after Lenovo is done revising it as per the company's quality standards, but we do know what it was originally meant to be: an 11.6-inch laptop with a display that doubled up as a Snapdragon-powered tablet when detached from the mother unit.
Oh no Qualcomm, say it isn't so! That mighty 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip we've been so anxiously looking forward to isn't slated to ship until July 2011, and maybe later.
This is the same part that we were previously told would show up in the first quarter of 2011, but apparently someone at Qualcomm misspoke. Qualcomm's PR dudes were quick to clarify that it's the 1.2GHz Snapdragon part that we'll see in early 2011, with the faster 1.5GHz silicon hopefully making it in time for the holiday shopping season next year.
On the bright side, a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor should make for a nice upgrade over today's single-core 1GHz parts. And with Samsung hard at work developing a 2GHz dual-core mobile chip, we're still stoked about both the short- and long-term outlook of smartphones.
If you have, for some reason, been hankering for a smartbook, you may be a little disappointed. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs stated during a company event today that tablets have most likely killed the nascent smartbook market. With Qualcomm being one of the most ardent supporters of the smartbook concept, there's little hope for the category to continue.
The HP Airlife was the only device to be marketed as a smartbook. This Android-based device never really found its audience when it was released earlier this year. Still, Qualcomm will continue to make faster mobile chips, they're just more likely to be seen in tablets and smartphones than in light-weight computers.
If smartbooks had materialized sooner, they may have had a shot. But in the wake of the iPad, it's not hard to see how it ended up this way. Were you interested in the smartbook category? What will you do now?
One of the main reasons why Google's Nexus One and other smartphones have been so well received is because they come built around Qualcomm's mighty 1GHz Snapdragon processor. This single core chip has given today's mobile OSes the pep they need to tackle computing on the go, and things are about to get even better.
According to reports, Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset family has given birth to two new processor cores -- the MSM8260 and MSM8660 -- both of which come clocked at 1.2GHz. These are the first of the Snapdragon series to have dual-cores, Qualcomm said.
So what's the difference? The MSM8260 supports only HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) networks, while the MSM8660 is a multimode part that supports HSPA+ or EV-DO Rev. B high speed networks. Otherwise the chips are the same, with each one packing enough processing punch to play back 1080p video.
Qualcomm said it is currently shipping engineering samples to smartphone makers, so it will likely be another six to eight months before you start to see these show up in new phones.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is showing up in all manner of mobile devices all of a sudden. We’ve recently seen the 1GHz chip in the likes of the Google Nexus One, HTC HD2, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, and the Toshiba TG01. Now Qualcomm looks to be pushing the industry to see the Snapdragon as more than a mobile phone processor with their new “Snaptop” prototype.
The Snaptop is a touchscreen tablet with a nifty kickstand to prop it up on a table for use as more of a laptop replacement. It has a slim wireless keyboard with integrated trackball. The device is currently running a modified version of Android 1.6.
Much like the Lenovo U1 with its detachable Snapdragon-powered screen, this product is really just a concept. We have no indication that you’ll be able to buy one of these at all. If you could though, would you?
Chrome OS is a curious thing. It does away with many of the paradigms we’ve become accustomed to over the years of computing. It will have users storing data in the cloud, and will offer a user interface based solely around the web browser. Google has also said they intend to have a reference platform for manufacturers to base their own hardware on. This is said to include very small SSDs for chache and operating system files only. This makes some recent comments from Samsung all the more interesting.
Samsung’s Australian head of IT Phil Newton, said that the company would be launching a Chrome OS netbook. Some specs were discussed as well. The machine would apparently have a 10.1 inch screen, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, and a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon CPU. We’re baffled why a Chrome OS netbook would need 64GB of hard drive space. This just doesn’t seem to jive with what Google has said. Could it be that Samsung intends to make modifications to Chrome OS?
The Nexus One has been available for just over a week. Now, analytics firm Flurry has managed to estimate the number of handsets sold in week one is around 20,000. For comparison, the Droid sold about 250,000 in its first week. The iPhone sold a whopping 1.6 million. Even the T-Mobile Myouch 3G sold 60,000 units. So, what does this mean for the Superphone?
When looking at these numbers, one must consider the huge difference in the marketing and distribution. Verizon has spent millions advertising the Droid, and Apple always manages to make a spectacle of iPhone launches, and the humble MyTouch had marketing from T-Mobile to help it out. The Nexus One can only be purchased online, and there’s no real advertising. Even the launch event seemed subdued and procedural.
A spring Verizon launch may kick sales into overdrive, we’ll have to wait and see. For now, it could be Google is just fine with only selling a limited number of phones to early adopters. Considering the complaints about customer service, that might also be for the best.