updated 09:35 am EST, Wed November 14, 2007
Qualcomm today introduced a new chipset platform for cellphones that it hopes will make integrating 3G Internet access as well as HD video and other features that normally require expensive or battery-draining secondary hardware. Nicknamed Snapdragon, the basic design includes a 1GHz processor and a 600MHz DSP chip that can handle both the connection and media playback at the same time. On GSM cellular networks, the QSD8250's main processor handles HSPA connections as quick as 7.2Mbps downstream and nearly 5.8Mbps upstream; its CDMA counterpart, the QSD8650, supports EVDO up to the upcoming 4.9Mbps Revision B standard.
In turn, the DSP component allows Snapdragon to play back content previously considered impractical on handhelds, Qualcomm says. In addition to linking into Bluetooth and Wi-Fi receivers, the common platform can play back and encode DVD-resolution (720x480) video, process images from a 12-megapixel still camera, and stream digital over-the-air TV from mobile formats such as the American MediaFLO standard or Europe's DVB-H. These are said to be possible on slim devices, avoiding the need for both a large circuit board or a bulky battery.
These chipsets should be shipping to cellphone producers worldwide as of today, according to Qualcomm. However, the company has not named its clients and does not say when it expects the first completed devices to reach the market.