Dual-core is about to become the low-end smartphone standard thanks to Qualcomm's two new Snapdragon SoCs.
On Friday, Qualcomm introduced two new additions to its Snapdragon S4 class of mobile processors: the MSM8625 and the MSM8225 chipsets. These two SoCs will come packed with dual-core CPUs clocked up to 1 GHz, the Adreno 203 GPU and an integrated 3G modem.
However the best part about the new Snapdragons is that they are hardware and software compatible with the older MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A family of chipsets, making it easy for manufacturers of low-end smartphones to migrate from S1 to S4 designs, expanding their product lines in a cost effective way. Essentially, this means handset makers will be able to swap the faster SoCs into existing designs.
In addition to the new SoCs, Qualcomm has also launched the third-generation of its Qualcomm Reference Design ecosystem program (QRD) so that third party device manufacturers can develop differentiated high volume smartphones with lower development costs and a faster time to market. It comes with a "comprehensive set of software and hardware components" that are pre-tested and optimized for Qualcomm's chips to help accelerate the overall design process.
"This allows device manufacturers to focus their engineering resources on developing value-added features that will help make their high-volume smartphone stand out from the competition," the company said. "The QRD ecosystem program is designed to help device manufacturers developing products for regions whose networks are evolving from 2G to 3G and high volume smartphones are becoming increasingly popular."
On Friday Qualcomm said the MSM8625 and MSM8225 chipsets will be available on its third generation QRD development platform in the first half of 2012 in addition to being available as standalone chipsets. QRD development platforms based on both the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A chipsets are currently available.