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Qualcomm Expounds on Snapdragon 800 Series Processors (Updated with Videos)

By Lionell Go Macahilig - on 3 Jul 2013, 10:38am

Qualcomm Expounds on Snapdragon 800 Series Processors (Updated with Videos)

Michelle Leyden-Li, Qualcomm's Senior Marketing Director, provides an overview of Snapdragon 800 series processors at a workshop held in Beijing, China.

Previously announced at CES 2013, the Snapdragon 800 line of processors was introduced by Qualcomm to the Asian media earlier today at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Beijing. Representing the fifth generation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, the 800 series is the company’s latest solution for smart devices like smartphones and tablets. The part numbers of Snapdragon 800 processors include the 8074, 8274, 8674, and the 8974.

Qualcomm shows here the anatomy of a Snapdragon 800 processor. Interestingly, the Krait 400 CPU occupies less than 15% of the processor's entire layout.

Classified as heterogeneous CPUs, Snapdragon 800 processors consist of several subcomponents that make them powerful yet energy efficient. Inside, a Snapdragon 800 processor comes with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU that runs at 2GHz+ speed and Adreno 330 GPU for graphics performance. On the imaging front, the processor has a dual ISP (image signal processor) camera with up to 55 megapixel count. The use of two ISPs (a 21-megapixel main and a 13-megapixel secondary) provides manufacturers with more flexibility in terms of designing their devices. The Snapdragon 800 series also integrates a component for connectivity that supports 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM standards.

Qualcomm's Product Marketing Director Yufei Wang emphasizes that Snapdragon 800 processors are future-ready because of their capability to support 4K resolution videos.

Seeing 2013 as the year in which smartphones are perceived as powerful multimedia devices, Qualcomm has equipped Snapdragon 800 processors with media-centric features. While the Snapdragon 600 series was more focused on computing capabilities, the Snapdragon 800 series is more geared toward multimedia performance.

Powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor, this prototype smartphone was used to capture a 4K video during the workshop.

The Snapdragon 800 is the first line of processors from Qualcomm that is capable of capturing and playing back videos with 4K or Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) resolution, a feature that makes them future-ready. The 4K video resolution is anticipated to become a new standard to be followed by 8K video resolution in a few years’ time. By 2015, 58% of total Internet traffic will be dominated by streaming videos, many of which will be based on 4K format. The support for high video resolution on Snapdragon 800 processors is relevant as more people prefer sharing content like videos through high definition televisions. Qualcomm’s latest processors feature Miracast 1080p HD support.

Shows here are the properties of the 4K video that was taken with the prototype smartphone. The 11-second video has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 with a file size of 152MB.

The support for 4K video resolution would not make sense without impressive graphics performance. Hence, Qualcomm has equipped Snapdragon 800 processors with the Adreno 330 GPU. The new GPU offers up to 1.5x better graphics performance over the Adreno 320 of Snapdragon 600 processors. The Adreno 330 GPU is designed to support larger displays with higher resolutions and provide more advanced lighting effects in more complex scenes at higher frame rates.

With surround sound support, consumers can enjoy an immersive movie or game experience with a device powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor, even if they are using a stereo headset.

Completing the multimedia enhancements, Qualcomm has also improved the audio performance on Snapdragon 800 processors. Collaborating with Dolby and DTS, Qualcomm has integrated to Snapdragon 800 processors the ability to output surround sound that can be recognized even with stereo headphones.

Below are some videos that were captured during the event. In these videos, the prototype devices powered by Snapdragon 800 processors are demonstrated recording or playing 4K Ultra HD videos.