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Posts Tagged ‘qualcomm’

Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 & 810 ARM Cortex A57/A53 SoCs

April 8th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 410, then Snapdragon 610 & 615, all three 64-bit SoCs featuring an ARM Cortex A53 targeting mid-range smartphones and tablets. Anandtech has reported that the company will launch their first 64-bit ARM SoCs for high-end devices in 2015. Snapdragon 808 and 810 will respectively feature 6 and 8 cores using 2 or 4 high performance Cortex A57 cores, and 4 low power Cortex A53 cores in big.LITTLE configuration.

Snapdragon_810

Both processor shares the same 9×35 core, LTE Category 6/7 integrated modem, an eMMC 5.0 interface, and be manufactured using 20nm process. Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) will also come with an Adreno 430 GPU, support H.265 harware encode and decode, feature a dual 32-bit LPDDR4-1600 memory interface, and a 14-bit dual ISP camera interface. Snapdragon 808 (MSM8992) will have an Adreno 418 GPU, support H.265 hardware decode, feature a dual 32-bit LPDDR3-933 memory interface, and a 12-bit dual ISP camera interface.

Snapdragon 808 and 810 are expected to ship in devices in H1 2015.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 & 801 SoCs Come in Six Flavors

March 12th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm usually does a poor job providing details about their SoC when they put out press releases or even in their website. It’s only thanks to a recent post on Anandtech that I’ve found out there are six different versions of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 & 801. So two devices powered by Snapdragon 800 SoC may not have the same performance, although the differences are minor, I’d still consider this misleading.
Snapdragon_800_vs_801Snapdragon 801, for instance found in the Galaxy S5 (MSM8974AC), is just a revision (v3) from Snapdragon 800, so all 6 versions are MSM8974 processors, and the differences between models are modifications of the frequency for the CPU, GPU, ISP and memory interface, as well as the eMMC version (4.5 vs 5.0) and support for dual SIM (DSDA = Dual SIM Dual Active). All MSM8974 processors come with four Krait 400 CPU cores, an Adreno 330 GPU, dual ISP, a 64-bit wide memory interface and a Cat 4 LTE modem.

The frequency improvements may lead to some performance gains that may not be easy “felt” by the end users, but the most important upgrade maybe eMMC 5.0 which adds some new features and increases the maximum interface speed to 400 MBs, instead of the maximum 200MB/s achievable with eMMC 4.5. Of course the actual performance gain will heavily depend on the eMMC used in a given device.

Note: In case you are not familiar with acronyms or terms used in some of my articles, such as DSDA, you can refer to the technical glossary I’ve posted over the week-end. I plan to add terms I don’t know over time. Suggestions are also welcome.

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Categories: Qualcomm Snapdragon Tags: qualcomm

Nvidia Tegra K1 32-bit and 64-bit Benchmarked with Antutu

March 6th, 2014 3 comments

Nvidia announced their latest Tegra applications processors at CES 2014 with the Tegra K1 32-bit and 64-bit ARM SoCs, as well as Tegra K1 MVC for automotive application. The 32-bit version comes with four Cortex A15 cores up to 2.3 GHz plus a companion core, and the 64-bit version with 2 ARMv8 cores (Cortex A53?) clocked up to 3 GHz. Both SoC features a 192-core Kepler GPU, and we’ve been shown some high-end graphics demo (OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL…) with in the reference tablet. Some charts has surface showing both 32- and 64-bit Tegra K1 scoring well over 40,000 and with an excellent 3D graphics score.

Tegra_K1_AntutuThe benchmark was run in reference platform with 32-bit or 64-bit Tegra K1, as well as the Tegra Note P1761 tablet with a 32-bit quad core Tegra K1 processor apparently clocked at a lower frequency, and with a not-that-good flash. The dual core, 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 scored 43,617 points (@ 3 GHz), whereas the quad core, 32-bit version achieved 43,851 points in Antutu 4.0. The tablet however just got 38,323, which is still a pretty good, and possibly more relevant to what we’ve see in retail devices. The 64-bit reference platform runs Android 4.4.2 with Nvidia Tegra K1 ARMv8 dual core processor clocked between 510 MHz and 3,000 MHz, a display with 1920×1080 resolution, 2GB RAM and 32 GB RAM (Source screenshot). Tegra_K1_vs_Snapgradon_805

The chart above shows Tegra K1 clearly outperforming Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, which is the best processor available (almost) right now, as it is part of the Samsung Galaxy S5.  Please note, I could not trace the origin of the different charts, and I just know it was posted on some Chinese website, and I do not know exactly which hardware was used to test each processors. This is important because benchmark results may be smaller in a smartphone or tablet, compared to a development board as you can’t just put a huge heatsink in a mobile device. But the results are interesting nonetheless to get a rough idea of the likely performance.

I usually prefer more detailed comparisons, and Sam Mobile posted the benchmark for both the Qualcomm 801 (SM-G900R4) and Exynos 5422 (SM-G900H) version of the Galaxy S5. We only have the benchmark details for Exynos 5422 version which is compared to the Galaxy Note 3 in the chart below.

Qualcomm 801 vs Exynos 5422

Qualcomm 801 vs Exynos 5422

The summarize all this in a table.

Total DB  I/O Storage I/O 3D Graph. 2D Graph. RAM Speed RAM Op. CPU Float CPU Integer Dalvik Multitask
Tegra K1 (2x ARMv8) 43617 645 2534 10997 1585 5078 3059 2291 4207 3875 9349
Tegra K1 (4x A15) 43851 645 2402 10939 1594 2229 2285 5461 4929 3775 9592
Exynos 5422 (4x A15, 4x A7) 35445 540 780 10401 1642 459 2680 4839 5339 1065 7700

According to these results. A dual core ARMv8 processor will perform just as well as a quad core Cortex A15, except with tests relying on more cores (CPU tests). RAM performance is way better with a 64-bit processor as expected. The biggest surprise is that the ARM Mali-T628 in Exynos 5422 appears to be just as good as the Kepler GPU found in Tegra K1.  The things that kill the Galaxy S5 is poor database I/O, RAM speed, and dalvik performance. For some reasons it does not score very well with multitasking despite having 8 cores. maybe the current big.LITTLE implementation and/or Antutu do not leverage the eight cores yet.

As mentioned above, the Tegra K1 scores have been done on a reference platform, and such scores may not be achieve on mobile devices due to heat dissipation issues. SemiAccurate has published several articles about Nvidia Tegra K1 saying the numbers released by the company were deceitful, and their latest article claims a 12V/5A (60 Watt) was used by Nvidia for their Tegra K1 demo at CES 2014, the only problem, if the picture is correct, is that it was for Tegra K1 MVC for automotive applications which certainly does not have the same power requirements as mobile devices. Even though, for now, the numbers looks promising, albeit not amazing, we’ll have to wait and see actual retail hardware to get a proper idea of the performance and power consumption of Tegra K1.

Via PadHZ

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Linaro Connect Asia 2014 Opening Keynote – Status and Future of ARMv8 Linux & Android [Video]

March 3rd, 2014 No comments

Linaro Connect Asia 2014 has just started in Macau today and will take place until Friday. You can follow the sessions live and/or their recordings via Linaro OnAir YouTube Channel. I’ve watched the opening keynote, and embedded the video at the bottom of this post. The keynote focuses on ARMv8 for Linux and Android on servers, mobile devices, digital home, and more, and involves two main speakers: George Grey, Linaro CEO , and Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architecture at Red Hat.

Linaro_Connected_Asia_2014

The speaker beginning of the video provides some practical information and the schedule for Linaro Connect. The keynote itself really starts around 15:50 with George Grey who spends the first 10 minutes introducing the latest Linaro members: Qualcomm, Mediatek, ZTE, AllWinner and Comcast. He then talks about the new Mobile sub-committee (MOBSCOM) that will focus on big.LITTLE, Android optimization and Android on ARMv8, as well as the soon-to-be-announced Linaro Digital Home Group composed of AllWinner, ARM, Comcast, Fujitsu, HiSilicon, and STMicro, that will work on STB / IPTV software implementation such as secure media playback. A large part of the talk is about boot architecture (ACPI, UEFI, ARM Trusted firmware…), and the debates ACPI vs FDT (Device Tree), U-boot vs UEFI, and so on. Other subjects discussed are ARM security with the recently formed Security Working Group, Virtualization, Middleware working on Aarch64 (LAMP and OpenJDK) and Android on 64-bit. The latter will require a lot more work, and actual hardware for validation of the work done on ARMv8 fast models, and to speed up code development. Finally he quickly mentions Linaro is still working on ARMv7 architecture, and preliminary work is done for Cortex-M with Yocto/OpenEmbedded support.

At the 50 minutes mark, Jon Masters takes over to talk about 64-bit ARM servers. He stresses several key points for ARM to be successful in the server market:

  1. Upstream first (to kernel.org), as Red Hat will only use code from mainline for servers
  2. Single binary required
  3. Must follow standards (SBSA, ACPI, UEFI…)
  4. Default to open (source and communication)

He explains that compared to last year hardware is now available, talks about hyperscale computing, and mention the “up to 25% market share for ARM servers in 2019″ quote from AMD. He explains there are challenges however, and the server market is much different from the embedded world, so CENH (Cute Embedded Nonsense Hacks) are not allowed for ARM servers. Long term (10+ years) support for toolchain and kernel are needed, with backports if necessary, and Fedora/Red Hat will never ever release an OS with a device tree file and/or U-Boot.

Finally he announces a Red Hat ARM Server Developer Preview will be released later this year, compliant with SBSA, and using UEFI and ACPI, and show demo running on Applied Micro X-gene Mustang board running an early version of the developer preview which boots with UEFI, and supports ACPI.

Watch the full keynote below for details (1h30).

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Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 610 and 615 Quad and Octa Core ARM Cortex A53 SoC

February 24th, 2014 1 comment

MWC 2014 will apparently be the event where 64-bit ARM mobile SoCs are to be announced. After the official launch of Mediatek MT6732, and the soon-to-be-announced Samsung GH7, Qualcomm has unveiled two new ARMv8 processors, namely Snapdragon 610 (MSM8939) and Snapdragon 615 (MSM8936), respectively featuring 4 and 8 ARM Cortex A53 cores and targeting the mid-range of the market.

Comparison Table of Qualcomm ARM 64-Bit SoCs - Source: Anandtech

Comparison Table of Qualcomm ARM 64-Bit SoCs – Source: Anandtech

Both processors will be manufactured using 28nm LP process technology, and features the new Adreno 405 GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.0, OpenCL, and DirectX 11.2 support, and up to 2560 x 1600 resolution, support H.265 video decoding, and integrates an LTE category 4 modem, as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi via Qualcomm VIVE.

Anandtech explains that “Snapdragon 615 is made up of two quad-core clusters, each optimized for a different operating point. One cluster is optimized for low power operation while the other cluster is optimized for high performance. This will likely manifest in four cores being able to run at a higher frequency than the other four, although Qualcomm tells me that all eight cores can be operational at the same time should a workload demand it.” So it looks like some sort of big.LITTLE configuration, made only of LITTLE cores clocked at different speed, and probably explains why Qualcomm did an eight core SoC despite calling them “dumb” last year in response to Mediatek Octa-core SoCs.

The new 64-bit SoC will be available in Q3 to manufacturers, and be found in devices in Q4 2014, exactly at the same time as Mediatek 64-bit solutions.

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Framaroot is an Android App to Root Mediatek, Qualcomm, Exynos, etc.. Based Devices

January 30th, 2014 No comments

Most of the time, when you want to root an Android devices, you may think you have to start your computer, and in many cases, it has to be a PC running Windows, which can be a real pain. Google does not allow apps that provide root access in Google Play, and all you can install are apps that can check whether your device is rooted such as Root Checker. For some reasons, today I needed to root my smartphone (ThL W200, Mediatek MT6589T), and I looked for a method working with Linux, and I did not find any, but I came across Framaroot, an Android app, that allows you to do that within your Android device without external hardware required.

framaroot-1.8.1Framaroot is very easy to use and support different exploit in order to provide root access to many devices based on Mediatek (Boromir or Faramir exploits), Qualcomm (Gandalf exploit), Samsung Exynos (mutiple exploits), as well a few devices based on HiSilicon K3V2, AMLogic, and Texas Instruments OMAP3. The full list of devices and the latest version of framaroot are available on XDA Developers Forum.

Here’s what I had to do to root my Mediatek based phone:

  1. Install Root Checker to verify my device is not already rooted.
  2. Go to System settings->Security to make sure “Unknown Sources” is checked.
  3. Open my phone web browser, and download framaroot 1.8.1. Link: http://bit.ly/1g5GGs0
  4. Install and run framaroot
  5. Tap on “Faramir” to install SuperSU
  6. Verify my device is rooted with Root Checker —> Success!

Some instructions say a reboot is required, but it worked without a reboot in my case.

If you prefer more visual instructions watch the video below, but do not download the apk via bit.ly/easyrooting as it points to an older version.

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Qualcomm QPrize Competition Targets Innovative Startups with Wireless Devices or Apps

January 16th, 2014 No comments

Qualcomm Venture, Qualcomm’s venture investment arm, has recently announced the launch of QPrize 2014. QPrize is a seed investment competition designed to provide entrepreneurs their first level of funding so they can launch their idea into a successful start-up business.

Qualcomm_QPrizeThe competition is open for residents of 7 “regions”:  China, Europe, India, Israel, Korea, Latin America and North America. However,  China QPrize is apparently a separate event, and it may be too late for this year.

You’ll have to submit your business plan to Qualcomm by April 18, 2014 (no NDA allowed), and the company will then select  finalists for each region which will compete in regional finals (dates and venues to be defined0, with the winner getting $100,000. The 7 regional winners will compete during the Grand Finals which are scheduled to take place at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit event, June 9-10, 2014 in Sausalito, CA, with the winner getting an additional $150,000 in funding.

Prize money is not the only thing, as companies usually get extra funding, and all finalists managed to get 158 million dollars in cumulated funding based on 2009, 2011, and 2012 QPrize competitions. Last year winner, iOnRoad, an Israeli startup, won the competition with their personal driving assistant for Android and iOS, and was bought by Harman International less than 30 days after winning the competition.

Further details, including the complete proposal submission procedure, are available on Quacomm Ventures’ QPrize page.

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Categories: Android, Qualcomm Snapdragon Tags: qualcomm