After riding high on the success of its Snapdragon 800, 801 and 805 processors, Qualcomm hit some speed bumps in 2015 with its much maligned 810 chip. Rumours began that the Snapdragon 810 had issues with overheating and thermal throttling, that weren’t helped when Samsung decided to use its own Exynos processor in the Galaxy S6. Issues with overheating still linger to some extent, despite Qualcomm developing a version 2.1 of the 810 processor that has most recently been seen powering the OnePlus 2. Having already sent out batches of samples of its next flagship processor, the Snapdragon 820, to handset manufacturers such as HTC and Sony, it seems that Qualcomm could make a public announcement next week.
There’s been a lot of hot air around the Snapdragon 810 and its overheating issues, with some manufacturers dropping it altogether, other handset makers preferring to use a lower spec (read cooler) version and then you get companies such as Sony who have stuck with the processor through thick and thin. As for the 810’s manufacturer, Qualcomm, it has been busy fending off accusations left, right and centre, its share price has dipped and investors have mentioned splitting the company apart. There could be some good news on the horizon, though, if a comment made on Chinese social media site Weibo, is anything to go by. Read more
While the current generation of smartphones, with the exception of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, are using the Snapdragon 810 processor in their flagship devices, that doesn’t mean that Qualcomm are standing on their laurels. Instead, the chip maker is already concentrating on its next top end CPU, the Snapdragon 815 according to an unnamed source. Read more
A major component of Samsung’s business deals with mobile processors, and their Exynos CPUs are always top-notch chips even when compared to offerings from Qualcomm and NVIDIA. However, Samsung typically relies on other manufacturers for the GPU in their mobile devices, but it looks like that might change next year.
A new report suggests Samsung is in the process of developing its own GPU to pair with its Exynos processors, and it’s slated for release as early as mid-2015. If that date is accurate, we’ll probably miss seeing it in the Galaxy S6, but there’s a good chance we could see it end up in the Galaxy Note 5 or whatever else succeeds the Note lineup in the second half of the year. Read more
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series processors are known to be some of the best CPUs on the market for mobile devices, but the company isn’t known for manufacturing any other internals for phones and tablets. Qualcomm will look to change that this year.
The company plans to dominate the market for internal components for smartphones, and it’s expected that a fully-built Qualcomm phone will be unveiled by the end of the year.
The RF360, a new RF device by Qualcomm, will reside between the baseband and the antenna in new devices. Qualcomm says that it consumes less power, takes up less space and supports the rapidly proliferating number of LTE bands used throughout the world.
This device, alongside the RF Pop, a power amplifier, will make it into handsets this year and should mark a major change in mobile technology. We’ll just have to wait and see how all of this pans out and see whether OEMs embrace Qualcomm’s new RF devices or not.
Not to say that Samsung’s Exynos Octa Processor was marketed as an eight-core processor, but it certainly came off that way, and was probably part of the marketing strategy for the tech-giant. (Only four cores of the processor can be active at once, meaning that it truly isn’t an eight-core processor.) However, the company seems to be working on a true octa-core processor which is scheduled for mass production later this year, and is expected to compete with MediaTek’s new octa-core CPU.
Samsung’s new CPU is also rumored to feature custom ARM cores, which could make this processor an absolute beast. Although we don’t have any other information on it at this time, we can expect to find it in the Samsung Galaxy S 5 next year. (Yes, we are already talking about it.) It’ll be cool to see what Samsung can do this time, as their past processors haven’t really panned out to what they could have been.
We’d recently caught wind that MediaTek might be unveiling the world’s first true octa-core CPU for mobile phones, and that dream has now become a reality. They announced today that they were officially going to begin producing the 8-core beast for manufacturers to begin using later this year.
Now, you may be thinking that Samsung’s already beat them to the punch with octa-core processors, but it’s important to remember that because of Samsung’s big.LITTLE implementation of their CPU architecture, only 4 cores are ever active at once, essentially making them act like two separate quad-core CPUs. This MediaTek processor does not work like that, offering a full 8-core CPU all the time, along with all the advantages that may bring. The CPU bangs out around 30,000 on an AnTuTu benchmark and varies in clock speed from 1.7 GHz to 2.0 GHz. It can decode 1080p video at 30 FPS.
Samples are currently being sent out to manufacturers with mass production slated for November. Hopefully we’ll this CPU start making appearances in more devices this time next year.
MediaTek has always offered extremely affordable processors with decent specs, but this time around it looks like they’re trying to one-up nearly every other player in the mobile processor industry. Many people knows Samsung launched their international Galaxy S 4 with an octa-core Exynos processor, but it wasn’t true 8-core processing; only 4 cores could be in use at once, and they traded off depending on how intensive the current task was. MediaTek, however, has reportedly developed a full 8-core CPU and has already shown the CPUs to some partners and is planning on putting them in mass production by November and shipping them in devices by the start of 2014.
AnTuTu benchmarks put this CPU around the 30,000 score range. It can’t hang with Qualcomm’s latest offerings, but it also likely won’t cost as much as a high-end Snapdragon chip, either. Supposedly, MediaTek also has an LTE solution in the works that’s set to be launched in Q4 of this year, so we may also see that alongside this new processor. We won’t have to wait too much longer either way.
Intel is trying their hardest to break into the smartphone market lately, though not the American market. Next up for the chip maker is the Acer Liquid C1 that’s planning to be launched in Thailand first, then launch in other nearby markets, hopefully within three months according to a certain senior Intel executive. The C1 runs on Intel’s Lexington platform with an Atom Z240 CPU and boasts a 4.3 inch screen, 2,000 mAh battery, and Android 4.0. Not ground breaking, but coming it at about $335, it’s expected. It does also feature HSPA+ connectivity, which was a smart move on Intel and Acer’s part. The C1 marks the ninth phone in nine months powered by one of Intel’s processors.
Since that area is a new, growing smartphone market, it makes sense that Intel would want to start trying to sway early adopters to their phones, and it’s beneficial for partners like Acer to jump on board. We won’t see any immediate results from this, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how Intel-powered phones pan out across the globe, and whether or not they can shake up the already competitive Android playing field.
First to announce an Intel Medfield-Based Android handset at CES was Lenovo however, the Lava Xolo X900 wound up being the first to actually hit the market. Nevertheless, Lenovo is still on schedule to launch the LePhone K800 as they’ve just announced a launch in China, with the device making it into the hands of the masses by the end of May. Recall the specs: 4.5-inch 720p display, an Intel 1.6GHz CPU, 8 meg camera and 1GB of RAM. The Intel CPU is the Z2460 as we knew it as the “Medfield” assisted by the Intel XMM 6260 chip to support various HSPA+ networks. At $525 the Android Gingerbread 2.3 device’s launch date for international availability is still unknown. But we’re working on it. Feel free to let us know what you think in comments below. Read more