Snapdragon 800 Loves Win RT 8.1; Snapdragon 400 Revealed

During Computex in Taipei, Qualcomm sent over a number of announcements, one of which seemingly paves the way for the company to power Microsoft's next Surface RT tablet. The company said its Snapdragon 800 portfolio will include support for Microsoft Windows RT 8.1 features and services, an integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE modem, CPU speeds of up to 2.2 GHz per core, and support for USB 3.0.

"Qualcomm Technologies and Microsoft will continue to work together on the next level of advanced mobile computing and Microsoft will offer a free software update to Windows RT 8.1," the company said. "Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors and Windows RT 8.1 are designed to enable OEMs to differentiate their newest products and offer outstanding mobile user experiences."

During the show, Qualcomm showcased its Snapdragon 800 chips running an early version of Windows RT 8.1 New devices based on this hardware and software platform are expected to be available later this year, Qualcomm said. These will be thin and fan-less, and deliver speedy performance with long lasting battery life.

In addition to supporting Windows RT 8.1 with the Snapdragon 800, Qualcomm also announced an entirely new chip: the Snapdragon 400. It's the first to offer multimode 3G/4G LTE on chips with two and four CPU cores for high-volume smartphones, and ideal for China and other emerging regions. The new Snapdragon 400 processor (8926), along with its Qualcomm Reference Design counterpart (QRD), will be available in late 2013.

"In addition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, the processor integrates key modem features that are important to China and other emerging regions, including TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps), and multi-SIM capabilities," the company said. "[It] will continue to support multi-SIM capabilities of Dual SIM, Dual Standby and Dual SIM, Dual Active."

Qualcomm said the new Snapdragon chip is optimized for a smooth, graphics-rich gaming experience, and provides Miracast support for wirelessly streaming multimedia content. It also includes integrated Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, NFC, and QuickCharge 1.0 which promises up to 40 percent faster recharges than conventional methods.

"Snapdragon 400 processors provide customers with a wide range of innovative smartphones for both the high-volume and mid-tier segments," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies.

  • -Ben
    If Windows RT 8.1 is updated to allow for ARM based tablets to use desktop applications like on the big boy version of Windows maybe it won't be so bad on ARM based tablets.
  • Cryio
    Seing how this is the 800 model, we all expected it to be fast.
    The real news for me is the WiFi 802.11ac support.
  • somebodyspecial
    So this thing is no better than T4i which just go upgraded to 150mbps LTE (which isn't even out). T4i is 1/2 the die size too. The only good things I see are 802.11ac (which isn't needed for any movie playing etc, are you transferring large files all day to your tablet/phone from the network?), and quick charge. China will already have T4i in $100-200 phones long before this and I'm guessing cheaper. This is why Asia is currently dragging down Qcom's margins etc and will continue. Cheaper competition that can roughly do the same already.
    T4i will up the gpu in these cheapo phones which will make the S800 a tough sell (it won't be much faster in gpu, and may lose to T4 full in a lot of things gpu, and all things cpu - all A15's are faster cpu wise). I can't really see a software modem and 1/2 die size (T4i) being beat by S800 in power either. It will be better than T4 in power (but won't matter in tablets T4 is aimed at), but not T4i which is aimed at phones. Qcom is slowing losing here. A bifurcated tegra approach was exactly the right move to be in both games (tablet and phone). T4i is cheaper to produce than T3 ($20-23 for T3 sales price) and 1/2 the size. S400 will be too slow to compete with T4i and can't cost much less than a 1/2 size chip that was previously $20-23 (so T4i must be able to sell at $15-17? for good profit?). T4i wins this race. I'm glad they only cut 12 gpu units to fit in a phone leaving most of the gpu power intact.
    I'm also looking here thinking why the drop from 2.3ghz to now 2.2ghz for S800? Previously they said it would go to 2.3ghz. Dropping 100mhz isn't a lot but surely this isn't a GOOD sign of power use or heat right? T4 is in shield at their stated 1.9ghz and will go into tablets at the same speed in some models. But this is Qcom announcing a 100mhz drop already.
    WinRT has no meaning to me, nor win8/8.1 for that matter...LOL. RT will do nothing for mobile, and android will continue to rule even with a price cut on RT.
  • somebodyspecial
    Nod to the website people here, this is the first comment I made that recognized a CR separating paragraphs (previously I always had to go fix them in the forum). It's about time!

    I take that back...edited, as it fooled me...Comment section still sucks, it just ignored the CR's anyway.
  • megamanxtreme
    Man, I would go for it. As long as the price is not that high for the RT and we have 2.2GHz as minimum. I had enough pain trying to handle a AMD dual-core at 1.7GHz and it slow as molasses to my taste, might get a Linux variant on it.
  • tobalaz
    Good news everybody!
    We get another ARM based cpu to run an OS nobody can stand!
    *cough*except the reps MS is paying to cycle through hardware sites and thumb down posts like these then speak glorious praise of a piece of crap*cough*