As we begin our coverage of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona, we bring you the first major announcement from Qualcomm. Namely, the announcement of three new Snapdragon SoCs in the Snapdragon 801, Snapdragon 615 and the Snapdragon 610. The Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615 are Qualcomm’s re-introduction of the Snapdragon 600 series to smartphones after the creation of the Snapdragon 602A for automotive.
The Snapdragon 615 and the Snapdragon 610 are both SoCs that integrate Qualcomm’s LTE modem, enabling Cat 4 data rates as well as new features like LTE-broadcast and LTE Dual SIM Dual Active. Both the 610 and 615 are also designed to work with Qualcomm’s RF360 front-end solution, enabling OEMs to be able to ship a 5-mode ‘global LTE’ SKU around the world. What sets these two chips apart is that the Snapdragon 615 is actually Qualcomm’s and possibly even the industry’s first 64-bit Octa-core SoC with integrated LTE. The Snapdragon 610, however, is essentially the same chip capable of 64-bit and LTE capabilities, but is only a quad core. Additionally, both SoCs will be shipping with Qualcomm’s Adreno 405 GPU, something that was only reserved for the Snapdragon 800 series. This means that the GPU already comes capable of supporting resolutions of up to 2560x1600 and APIs like DX 11.2 and OpenGL ES 3.0 in addition to a hardware H.265 decoder, one of the very few in the industry. They also come with integrated 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 standard. The Snapdragon 615 and Snapdragon 610 are expected to sample to OEMs in the third quarter of this year and final commercial devices are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Snapdragon 801, on the other hand appears to be another update to the Snapdragon 800 series, after the announcement of the Snapdragon 805 SoC. The 805 is going to be Qualcomm’s flagship chip for the majority of the year, but the 801 will be their affordable ‘high-end’ chip with slower LTE capabilities and a slower GPU. The Snapdragon 801 will ship with a Cat4 LTE modem with Krait 400 CPU cores and an Adreno 330 GPU. The Snapdragon 801 is also expected to have an improved image processing pipeline which should enable better camera solutions for those wanting more camera performance not necessarily desiring Cat6 LTE and 4K video playback. The Snapdragon 801 is expected to be available in commercial devices this quarter.
We will continue our coverage here at MWC 2014 and will try to get more details about the Snapdragon 801 and the details about what makes it so different from the Snapdragon 800 and 805. We'll also be attending multiple press conferences trying to get you the latest SoC news and information as we get it.
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