Another Monster Processor: Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon APQ8064
Qualcomm SnapDragon APQ8064 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, will make NVidia Tegra 2 look like your (grand-) father processor and even make Texas Instrument OMAP 5 processor look slow. This new processor will available in earlier 2012 and will probably make it to devices by end 2012, beginning 2013. Here’s a press release excerpt:
Barcelona, Spain – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its quad-core Snapdragon™ chipset designed to meet the requirements of next generation tablets and computing devices. The new quad-core APQ8064™ is the flagship chipset in the new family of Snapdragon chipsets and is based on the new micro-architecture code named “Krait.” With the purpose of being built for mobile devices, this 28nm micro-architecture will redefine performance, achieving speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and minimizing power consumption and heat generation to enable new, thin and light form factors.
The Snapdragon APQ8064 chip will be designed to enable the next generation of converged computing and entertainment devices. These devices will have significantly higher performance requirements, including support for larger screen sizes and resolutions, more complex operating systems, multi-tasking, multi-channel audio, HD gaming and stereoscopic 3D (S3D) photo and video capture and playback, as well as output in full HD to 1080P flat panel displays over HDMI.
While performance requirements have been increasing, battery technology and capacity have struggled to develop at the same pace. To meet this challenge, Qualcomm created its next generation architecture and integrated four new, low-power CPU cores and its advanced Adreno® graphics into the APQ8064, enabling it to offer twelve times the available performance as well as 75 percent lower power than the first generation of Snapdragon processors. The combination of advanced processors and multimedia technology will provide tablets and mobile computing devices with unsurpassed performance, battery life, low thermal dissipation and the broadest set of connectivity options available in the industry.
The APQ8064 processor will include the Adreno 320 quad-core GPU, which will deliver fifteen times greater performance than the original Adreno GPU, for a console-quality gaming experience, as well as rendering rich UI’s. With up to 20 Megapixel camera support, the APQ8064 will internally synchronize two camera sensors for 3D video recording and will support external 3D video playback.
The APQ8064 will feature a variety of features that make it the most compelling processing solution for use in mobile entertainment and computing devices, including support for both PCDDR3 and LPDDR2 memory, serial and PCIe interfaces and multiple USB ports.
This really looks like an overkill for mobile applications with quad core running at 2.5 GHz, a 20 Megapixel camera but we shall see what the future holds. I can envision the death of the desktop PC and even laptop, as smartphones will have the processing power to take care of computer tasks either via docks that provide connection to a larger screen, mass storage, power source, and more or using wireless technology for video output (e.g. WHDMI), keyboard and mouse (Bluetooth/radio) and storage (NAS + Wifi).