Snapdragon 800 Loves Win RT 8.1; Snapdragon 400 Revealed

During Computex in Taipei, Qualcomm sent over a number of announcements, one of which seemingly paves the way for the company to power Microsoft's next Surface RT tablet. The company said its Snapdragon 800 portfolio will include support for Microsoft Windows RT 8.1 features and services, an integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE modem, CPU speeds of up to 2.2 GHz per core, and support for USB 3.0.

"Qualcomm Technologies and Microsoft will continue to work together on the next level of advanced mobile computing and Microsoft will offer a free software update to Windows RT 8.1," the company said. "Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors and Windows RT 8.1 are designed to enable OEMs to differentiate their newest products and offer outstanding mobile user experiences."

During the show, Qualcomm showcased its Snapdragon 800 chips running an early version of Windows RT 8.1 New devices based on this hardware and software platform are expected to be available later this year, Qualcomm said. These will be thin and fan-less, and deliver speedy performance with long lasting battery life.

In addition to supporting Windows RT 8.1 with the Snapdragon 800, Qualcomm also announced an entirely new chip: the Snapdragon 400. It's the first to offer multimode 3G/4G LTE on chips with two and four CPU cores for high-volume smartphones, and ideal for China and other emerging regions. The new Snapdragon 400 processor (8926), along with its Qualcomm Reference Design counterpart (QRD), will be available in late 2013.

"In addition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, the processor integrates key modem features that are important to China and other emerging regions, including TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps), and multi-SIM capabilities," the company said. "[It] will continue to support multi-SIM capabilities of Dual SIM, Dual Standby and Dual SIM, Dual Active."

Qualcomm said the new Snapdragon chip is optimized for a smooth, graphics-rich gaming experience, and provides Miracast support for wirelessly streaming multimedia content. It also includes integrated Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, NFC, and QuickCharge 1.0 which promises up to 40 percent faster recharges than conventional methods.

"Snapdragon 400 processors provide customers with a wide range of innovative smartphones for both the high-volume and mid-tier segments," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies.

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