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CES: Oh Snap! Qualcomm Does Android

LAS VEGAS -- 2009 International CES -- Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is giving the Android mobile phone operating system a multimedia jolt of power with a demonstration of the open-source code running on its Snapdragon chipset here at the show. (See Qualcomm Demos Android.)

The San Diego, Calif.-based chip giant is showing off a high-resolution demo at its booth that, it claims, shows that Android on the chipset "can support larger displays for mobile computing devices." The chipset is aimed at larger mobile Internet devices and Web tablets as well as handsets.

The silicon supports CDMA EV-DO and high-speed data access (HSDA) 3G technologies and a gigahertz processor, as well as a slew of mobile video and audio standards, which could mean faster and smoother viewing and listening on future Android devices.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, gets to extend its "broad church" strategy of supporting as many 3G and potential 4G standards as possible on its chipsets.

"I'm positive on Snapdragon, and this is in line with Qualcomm's strategy to bundle as much functionality as possible with its silicon," says Gabriel Brown, senior analyst at Heavy Reading.

Qualcomm already works closely with High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), the manufacturer of the initial G1 Google phone, on handset chips. The G1 uses the Qualcomm MSM7201A processor. (See G1 Is Just the Start for Android.)

Four out of five of the world's largest phone makers have already joined the Android alliance. (See Huawei Says Aye, Android in 2009.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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