Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile processors have carved a significant space for themselves in today’s mobile market, where they power hundreds of smartphones ranging from the Nokia Lumia 800 to the Samsung Galaxy S III. But the San Diego-based chip maker revealed a new Snapdragon lineup Wednesday that suggests its reach will soon stretch beyond smartphones, into notebooks and smart TVs.
Within Qualcomm’s new line of Snapdragon processors will be the Snapdragon S4 Prime, designed to power next-generation smart TVs. Specs and technical details have not yet been revealed, but Engadget published a report this week suggesting the S4 Prime series will consist of the MPQ8064, a quad-core CPU that can reach clock speeds of 1.5GHz and is based on Qualcomm’s Krait architecture.
Qualcomm also revealed a new Snapdragon S4 Pro lineup, optimized for "ultra-thin" computing devices, including traditional clamshell notebooks, but wouldn’t disclose any further details related to form factor.
"Unfortunately, we can’t announce our partners’ plans or designs. They have decided it's too early to show their designs, and we respect that," a Qualcomm spokesperson wrote CRN in an email. "Qualcomm’s history is not to show things early; our history is to quietly execute and then deliver amazing designs and user experiences with our partners - at scale and globally."
In an April interview with CRN, Qualcomm Vice President of Marketing Tom McDonough hinted that Snapdragon-based ultra-thin notebooks are in the chip maker’s future. He declined to comment whether notebooks were actually in the pipeline for 2012, but said Qualcomm is encouraging its OEM partners to explore new form factors, many of which will be based on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 platform.
"What’s key for us is that we are providing a piece of technology that OEMs can then do things with," McDonough told CRN. "You can build anything that your heart desires or anything that the OEMs think will drive uniqueness or value for them. With that chip [the Snapdragon S4], they could build clamshells, they could build a tablet, they could build a convertible [PC], they could build a smartphone -- really, any of the above."
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