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Tom's Hardware's AMA With Qualcomm, In Its Entirety

Modem Technology And Upcoming Devices

Q. In regards to the venture into windows phone compatible hardware, was that hardware actually x86 CISC hardware, or was the software adapted to run on ARM architecture? Do you see yourselves entering into competitive x86-64 space in the future?

A. Qualcomm modems support the latest communication technologies, including the latest advancements in LTE. With the introduction of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Qualcomm is shipping its 3rd generation LTE modem and was first to launch LTE Advanced with Carrier Aggregation (CA), a key feature that effectively doubles data rates for typical LTE users up to a peak data rate of 150 Mbps. Technologies like CA and other LTE-A features such at heterogeneous networks will help bring the LTE experience to the next level.

Q. One advantage of many newer phones with Qualcomm chipsets is the integration of the radios, keeping all the essential electronics small (28nm) and close to each other. Are all current (S4 Pro, 600, 800) Snapdragons like this or do some have separate, non-integrated radio's. From some of the information I've seen it looks like some of the phones do not have the radios integrated. If the radios are not integrated, do they at least use a separate Qualcomm 28nm radio so it's still low power?

A. Our second and third generation LTE modems (radios) that are part of our integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 and 800, or used in connection with discrete Qualcomm Snapdragon processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, are all 28nm modems and have all the latest power optimizations available.

Q. The S4 Pro Quad SoC was very exciting when it was announced.  It then took forever to actually get into the market in devices and only made it into a small handful of devices before being obsoleted by the new Snapdragon 600 parts. Are we going to see better OEM adoption of your parts this round - or was this an issue of Qualcomm getting parts out the door for OEMs to use in their designs? The 8960 pretty much dominated the US market for 2012 while the APQ8064 was only in a few US handsets (3 really - Nexus 4, Droid DNA, Optimus G). Should we expect to see 8960 levels of adoption for Snapdragon 600 while Snapdragon 800 is quickly replaced by the time it is shipping in any meaningful volume in devices?

A. Today, there are more than 850 Snapdragon devices announced/commercially available and more than 475 Snapdragon designs in development. Of the more than 475 Snapdragon-based designs in development, 200+ designs in development are using Snapdragon 600/800 processors. There also are a number of leading Snapdragon 600 based devices, such as the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro, available today. As mentioned earlier, the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 device has already launched in Korea with Samsung. You will start to see more Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 devices this summer. LG and Sony have recently announced devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors, so keep an eye out for those.  Keep in mind that we have a wide range of processors for different price points and experiences that are meant to address different market segments, including low, mid and high-tier devices. For example, we are continuing to see new devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors, such at the Nokia Lumia 1020.