Qualcomm's next-generation system-on-a-chip is set to turn up inside consumer devices at the Mobile World Congress—and judging by its rumoured speed and integrated LTE technology, it could cause quite a stir.
Qualcomm has announced that the new chip—MSM8960, or Snapdragon S4 to its friends—will debut in several handsets next week in Barcelona. Whilst only dual-core, the exciting news is that Qualcomm has been able to roll LTE connectivity into the chip.
Currently, American phones have a separate LTE processor that both adds bulk and kills battery performance. An integrated system should help alleviate those issues by sharing resources. While the UK market hasn't got any LTE phones just yet, it's not long now until Ofcom will be auctioning off the spectrum to UK networks, ready for the commercial roll-out either next year or even as late as 2014.
AnandTech has also had an opportunity to benchmark the new processor, and the results look promising, with the chip trumping the highest results from any currently shipping devices by a factor of two. In real-world tests, they found that compared to a Galaxy Nexus, the Snapdragon S4 helped reduce web page loading times by 0.3 seconds with the cache disabled or 1.4 seconds with it turned on. That is massive.
Qualcomm is planning to launch a quad-core version of the processor too, which should be interesting -- but will we see these chipsets put to use in the UK, or will we have to wait for Snapdragon S8? Over to you, Ofcom. [GigaOm and Anandtech via The Verge]