While we were distracted with Qualcomm's stellar earnings
, a rumor leaked out, which appeared to have quite a bit of weight. This rumor actually came in the form of two images displaying Qualcomm's next generation applications processor, the (2014) APQ8084. This processor is supposed to feature four Krait cores running at 2.3GHz, which is supposed to be at the same speed as the previous model, the APQ8074. The APQ8074 is part of the Snapdragon 800 family of processors, however, it lacks an integrated Cat.4 LTE modem, so it is branded the APQ8074 instead of the MSM8974.
Moving on to the APQ8084 (and likely subsequent MSM8984) we can see from the image that Qualcomm is planning to do the majority of their improvements outside of the CPU, leaving the cores' cache and clocks untouched. Since that is the case, they've opted to go for improved memory support, including 64-bit memory support. This will also probably finally spur increased interest in Qualcomm's ARM server aspirations, especially with the support of PCDDR3/3L.
In terms of wireless technology, the APQ8084 should feature a slight improvement from the standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The APQ8084 looks to integrate an 802.11ac component into the SoC, which should finally make all of those fancy 802.11 routers useful. It will also improve wired connectivity by increasing the USB support from one USB 3.0 port on the 8074 to two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. Clearly, a play to tablets and smart TVs.
What we really find interesting with the improvements are really with the GPU. The GPU goes from the Adreno 330 (an upgraded version of the 320) to the Adreno 420. The Adreno 420 adds some important features like H.265 decode capability as well as DX 11.1 and Open CL 1.2 full profile support. The second rumored slide claims that the Adreno 420 should be capable of pixel fill rates of 4000 Mpix/s compared to 3600 Mpix/s in the Adreno 330 and 3200 Mpix/s in the Adreno 320.
Now that we already know what Tegra 4 has to offer, as well as Samsung, we can certainly see why Qualcomm believes that they will have strong sales going into 2013, so much so that they would actually increase their outlook for 2013, unlike many of their competitors. Since this is a 2014 chip, Nvidia and Samsung still have something to release to compete against this chip, but it is clear that Qualcomm is not stopping or even slowing down.Editor's Note: Considering how many sites have pulled their images of these slides, we've opted not to actually post the slides themselves but rather the pertinent information we've extracted from them. We do this to serve you better.
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