Mobile

Qualcomm integrates 4G into its mobile Snapdragon processor

big-bird-qualcomm

Making it easier for mobile device manufacturers to build 3G and 4G-equipped devices, Qualcomm today announced that its newest quad-core processor would include these wireless capabilities.

3G is the third-generation of wireless data, while 4G is ostensibly the fourth generation; the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard is the one most widely utilized by 4G networks such as Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. Integrating both wireless capabilities on a single chip will streamline the design and manufacturing process for any smartphone and tablet makers who use Qualcomm’s chips, since it reduces the number of chips they’ll need to include in their devices. It could also reduce prices, which is probably why the company says this chip is intended for “emerging regions” (a code phrase for “poor countries”).

The new Snapdragon 400 processor (specific model number: 8926) will be available late this year, along with a reference design from Qualcomm that will aid manufacturers in creating their own phones.

Nvidia’s Tegra 4i, which competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor in the increasingly lucrative market for tablets and smartphones, also includes an integrated 4G LTE modem.

The new Snapdragon, like its predecessors, will include multi-SIM support, graphics support for gaming, and “Miracast” support for wireless media streaming. In addition to 3G and 4G LTE wireless, the chip will also support 802.11ac (Wi-Fi), Bluetooth, FM, and NFC. It will support Android and Windows Phone 8 software.

It also includes Qualcomm’s “QuickCharge 1.0″ feature for charging devices up to 40 percent faster than normally, the company promised.

Qualcomm release a slew of other press releases today. Among the most notable was an announcement that the company would be updating its high-end Snapdragon 800 (also a quad-core processor) to work with Windows RT 8.1, the upcoming version of Microsoft’s operating system.

Photo: Big Bird making an appearance at Qualcomm’s CES 2013 press conference, in January. Photo credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat.


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