Mobile

Qualcomm unveils its 64-bit, eight-core mobile processor family

Above: Qualcomm Snapdragon

Image Credit: Qualcomm

Not so long ago, a (now former) Qualcomm marketer dismissed 64-bit mobile processors as “marketing gimmicks.” Now the world’s biggest mobile chip maker is singing the praises of 64-bit processing.

Qualcomm made a few chip announcements today at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, including its first 64-bit Octa-core Snapdragon chip set with integrated 5-mode Global LTE. The chip will process data in 64 bit chunks, rather than the traditional 32-bit chunks. And that will allow it to work on beefier problems like the kind that desktop or server processors can handle.

Qualcomm announced its Qualcomm Snapdragon 610 and 615 processor chip sets today for high-end mobile computing devices. The chips combine the radio and processor on a single piece of silicon. This so-called “integrated” LTE modem differs from the approach of Intel, which has a separate chip for the LTE radio. The low-end LTE modem supports “category 4″ data rates up to 150 megabits a second. Qualcomm says it is supporting a flavor of LTE that will be more globally accepted.

The Snapdragon models, along with a recently announced 410 version, combine an ARM processor with a 4G LTE modem. The chips also include the Qualcomm Adreno 405 graphics processing unit, and they come with either eight processing cores or four cores. The 610 and 615 are expected to ship in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, for the high-end of the wireless data networking market, Qualcomm is also launching its stand-alone LTE-Advanced chip set, dubbed Qualcomm Gobi 9×30, with support for “category 6″ speeds up to 300 megabits per second. The chip is aimed at the automotive market and will be built in a 20-nanometer manufacturing process. That’s one of the most advanced manufacturing processes available and it means it will cheaper, faster, and less power-hungry.

Qualcomm also said it has created a multimode, multiband radio front-end chip for China’s ZTE, which will use the technology in a new flagship smartphone, the Grand S II LTE. Qualcomm said it will also do live demos of LTE Advanced category 6 connectivity with download speeds up to 300 megabits per second at the Mobile World Congress event. it will do the demos with Ericsson.

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