Qualcomm announced on Thursday the addition of two new quad-core Snapdragon S4 mobile processors: the MSM8225Q and MSM8625Q, now members of the Snapdragon S4 Play family and ready for high-volume smartphones.
According to the company, these new chips are the upgraded software compatible variants of the highly successful Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8225 and MSM8625 dual-core processors (which already feature dual SIM support). Now manufacturers can upgrade their existing Snapdragon S1-based phone designs to S4 dual- and quad-core CPU-based versions without having to make drastic changes.
Qualcomm said the two new quad-core SoCs support LPDDR2 memory, increasing the bus bandwidth for improved features such as 720p display and 720p video encode and decode. The Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8625Q specifically features Qualcomm's integrated multimode UMTS/CDMA modem, and the MSM8225Q has an integrated UMTS modem. Both processors enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM connectivity using the Qualcomm Atheros AR6005 and WCN2243 chips.
Qualcomm also revealed on Thursday the Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8930. This dual-core chip supports all China operators with UMTS, CDMA and TD-SCDMA. It's also LTE-TDD and TD-SCDMA compatible, targeting mid-tier smartphones for use in China. Qualcomm says it's the world's first single-chip solution with an integrated LTE modem, designed to "take LTE to high-volume smartphones." This chip will be ready for customer sampling by the end of 2012, and is expected to be shipping in commercial devices by the first quarter of 2013, the company said.
In addition to the three chips, Qualcomm is also releasing Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) versions of all three processors.
"The QRD program includes comprehensive handset development platforms and an ecosystem program providing access to third-party providers of tested and verified hardware and software components so customers can rapidly deliver differentiated smartphones to budget conscious consumers," the company said. "The Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM connectivity technologies have been pre-validated and tested with the QRD platform to provide reduced time-to-market."
Qualcomm said there are 100 designs in progress, including QRD-based smartphones enabled by these new Snapdragon S4 Play and Plus processors, which are expected to be available by the first quarter of 2013.
"Our broad portfolio of Snapdragon S4 mobile processors delivers the optimal balance of features and performance for the high-volume smartphone segment," said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products. "By offering both dual-core and quad-core CPU versions of the Snapdragon S4 Play processor, we are providing our OEM and operating partners a competitive and differentiated platform."
For more information about Snapdragon SoCs, head here.