Qualcomm's Snapdragon Spreads Its Wings
And it's well on its way to achieving that goal despite a highly competitive market thanks to wins with Android, HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications . (See HP Open to 'Special' webOS Partners and Qualcomm, Nvidia Face Off in the Core.)
All Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices are running on Snapdragon and the next generation of the OS, announced on Wednesday, will use the dual- and eventually quad-core Central Processing Unit (CPU) as well. It's not an exclusive relationship, but Jacobs pointed to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's keynote on Thursday here in San Diego as evidence that it will remain strong.
Sony Ericsson represents another big win for Snapdragon. The handset maker has already launched four Snapdragon-based phones this year, the most notable being its gaming-focused Xperia Play. Qualcomm competitor Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) is the traditional leader in gaming, so it is significant that Sony Ericsson chose Snapdragon over its graphics-focused rival. (See Adobe Flashes to All Qualcomm Devices, Nvidia Targets Qualcomm With Icera Buy and Sony Ericsson Intros PlayStation Phone.)
As for the additional 250 upcoming Snapdragon devices, Jacobs said to expect some interesting and aggressive form factors, including tablets with keyboards, transformable devices, foldable tablets and component models -- what he called a huge opportunity now that Microsoft has said that its next version of Windows will support ARM-based system-on-chips (SoCs), which the software giant announced in January this year. (See CES 2011: OS Watch Goes Gadgets.)
Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPU is only running on a single-core processor today, but Jacobs stressed that it's not the number that matters, but the performance. Snapdragon saves 50 to 70 percent of power use with the same performance level of its competitors, most of which are on dual-core chips, he claimed. "The performance you get is much more than just counting the number of cores in a chip," Jacobs jibed. "It's how they work together."
Even so, Qualcomm is participating in the arms race. It will have its first dual-core chip in a smartphone, the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Evo 3D, this month, as well as in the HP TouchPad tablet. As to when it will have the quad-core chipsets that some of its competitors are touting, Jacobs only said "soon." (See MWC 2011: Qualcomm Whips up Snapdragon.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile