Qualcomm's finally shipping its first dual-core Snapdragons. To whom, is the big question. Its third-generation Mobile Station Modem MSM8260 and MSM8660 Snapdragon chipsets for high-end smartphones -- originally announced in February 2009 -- are now sampling and capable of running at up to 1.2GHz. The MSM8260 supports HSPA+, while the MSM8660 brings support for multi-mode HSPA+ and 1xEV-DO Rev. B. Both integrate GPS, a GPU with 2D / 3D acceleration engines for Open GL ES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1, 1080p video encoding and decoding, a dedicated low-power audio engine, and support for 24-bit WXGA 1,280 x 800 pixel displays. Anybody at Computex care to step forward with a reference design?
Update: We just spoke with company representatives here at the show, and try as we may, we couldn't convince anyone at the company to show off a dual-core reference design. We were flat-out told that the only people at Computex getting a glimpse at the new silicon were prospective customers, though we did manage to pry out a few interesting details about the chip itself and the future of the line. For one, these new chips have two application cores and a single modem core, whereas existing chips have a single application core alongside a single modem core. We were also told in no uncertain terms that an even quicker version of the Snapdragon would be launched before the year's end, and as you'd likely surmise, it'll be aimed at "larger screen" devices -- you know, like slates and tablet PCs.
[Image courtesy of Carina Larsson]