Qualcomm offers phone manufacturers an upgrade to its Snapdragon 800 processor

The Snapdragon 801's CPU is 14 percent faster than its predecessor, and its GPU 28 percent

Qualcomm has released a turbocharged version of its popular Snapdragon 800 mobile processor, adding support for dual active SIMs and boosting graphics performance by 28 percent.

The Snapdragon 801 is pin-compatible with its predecessor yet can run the same software up to 14 percent faster, said Michelle Leyden-Li, senior director of product marketing for Snapdragon, speaking on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Phones that contain the Snapdragon 800 include the Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung Electronics, and the G2 and recently announced G2 Pro from LG Electronics.

Leyden-Li hinted that Qualcomm customers could announce speed-bumped phones containing the new chip at the show. "We are shipping the product now, and devices will come very soon," she said.

One factor driving Qualcomm to update the chip is demand from phone manufacturers for faster, higher quality image processing capabilities to help them differentiate their products.

Compared to the Snapdragon 800, the 801 can process camera sensor data up to 45 percent faster, allowing it to handle higher-resolution images. Memory speed has also been increased 17 percent, with a move to an eMMC 5.0 interface for embedded flash memory, Leyden-Li said.

The new chip's graphics and CPU performance boosts, and a faster DSP (digital signal processor) also mean it can encode H.265 video streams at 1080p in software.

Not everything has changed though. The Snapdragon 801 contains the same quad-core Krait 400 CPU as the Snapdragon 800. The GPU -- an Adreno 330 -- is also unchanged, and the two chips have the same integrated LTE capability (Category 4, for speeds of up to 150Mbps) and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The new chip's power performance is largely unchanged from its predecessor's, but Leyden-Li could not say what impact it would have on the battery life of phones: "We expect it to have just as good a power profile as the Snapdragon 800," she said, but "We don't optimize battery life, we optimize the processor. We don't have control over the rest of the device."

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MWCconsumer electronicssmartphonesqualcommComponentsprocessors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?