Hardware, Software Programs

Qualcomm Shows Off Cool Mobile Devices Driven by Its New Chips


Qualcomm hosted an intimate meeting for both key employees and a few members of the tech press to discuss its present and future plans, something many will agree has been a long time coming considering Qualcomm traditionally keeps a tight lid on its upcoming products. Fierce competition, however, has forced the wireless chip maker to change its stance and become more forthcoming, which is a good thing.

During our roundtable, for instance, Qualcomm showed us a bunch of gizmos being released during our meeting as well as a handful to be released. These included a few tablets from notable manufacturers, in addition to smartphones bearing 4G monikers.

Qualcomm also showed off their newest breed of mobile processors and some of the features and benefits of a dual-core phone with a decent GPU. Raj Talluri, Qualcomm’s vice president of product management for application processors, pictured on the right, was one of the executives at hand.

He went over the benefits of having a dual-core phone inside of an internet browser as well as the power savings that occur when two different cores are able to operate at different frequencies with shared cache.

  Pictured above is  Raj Talluri  

Their 8660 chip will feature a dual scorpion core processor with an Adreno 220 GPU all packed nicely into a single system-on-a-chip (SoC). This lets the processor power 1080P video playback as well as 1080P encode.

The chips can be expected around April, Qualcomm executives said. The benefits of the GPUs on these processors are not only limited to graphics because the GPUs Qualcomm currently integrates into their processors are capable of assisting in the processing of Augmented Reality, Flash 10.1 and 3D video – all in addition to physics.

Qualcomm also showed a neat thing that we have yet to see on a smartphone to date – 3D video playback at 1080p resolution. You may be wondering why all the fuss, but please note that nobody else has done that yet on a smartphone.

Pictured above are the browser frame rate improvements comparing a dual core to a single core.

Getting around the hardware developments that Qualcomm has been working on, they also talked some of their software developments. The first one, the enhanced version of the peer-to-peer connection platform Qualcomm had originally talked about during UPLINQ. The technology is called Alljoyn and it effectively allows for simplified peer-to-peer communication with friends or colleagues that are within the range of the device.

Alljoyn is a technology that effectively harnesses all of the pre-existing radios on the phone to more securely and effectively create a local P2P network. Furthermore, there is no latency between the two devices which allows for instant file transfers. The ability to remove latency means that not only will people be able to send files to each other instantly without using the network, they will be able to do things like play local games with the people in the area.

Snapshots of the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon’s first LTE 4G device

While Alljoyn may not see the light of day, Qualcomm is nevertheless pursuing it in order to give developers the opportunity to find ways to save on carrier bandwidth and at the same time allow for fast peer-to-peer communication.

In addition to Alljoyn, Qualcomm gladly proclaimed that they had successfully created a partnership with Netflix to bring Netflix to Android on Qualcomm-based platforms. While they wouldn’t comment on whether or not they had exclusivity on this, nobody else had made such an announcement. The ability to play Netflix on Android should make a lot of Android users happy campers since currently only iPhone users can stream Netflix to their phones.

On top of the Netflix announcement, we were also shown a demo of Oovoo on the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G. The point of this demo was to show how Qualcomm’s partnership with Oovoo helped them to optimize their program for the hardware to maximize the quality of the application when video chatting from a mobile phone.

While we found this to be a nice development, we would’ve liked to see a similar announcement with Skype considering how much bigger Skype is and how many more users are on Skype. In the past, we have used Oovoo but it wasn’t as useful as a free application.

The roundtable was definitely something we were glad that Qualcomm had decided to do and we felt like we got a decent amount of good information for you, our readers, while getting a good idea of where Qualcomm is heading and how much they are trying to make things easier for not only consumers and carriers but the developers that support them as well.