Qualcomm CEO: New Snapdragons Will “Crush” The Competition


Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs took to the stage at CES yesterday for his keynote in order to discuss the company’s two new processor core architectures, the Krait 300 and Krait 400.

The chipmaker unveiled its newest products yesterday, announcing that Krait 300 will be used on Snapdragon 600. According to Jacobs, Krait 300 represents the next-generation of its successful Krait 200 core that powered Snapdragon S4 Pro, used on the Asus PadFone 2 and the Nexus 4.

Qualcomm claims that the Krait 300 can deliver 40% better performance than that of its predecessor, thanks to improvements within its architecture and the inclusion of LPDDR3 RAM (as opposed to LPDDR2 RAM on the Krait 200). In addition, Krait 300’s maximum clock rate has been boosted up to 1.9GHz from the 1.7GHz of its predecessor, while iGPU is again handled by the Andreno 320 that was included on the S4 Pro.

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During his keynote, Jacobs boldly claimed that in terms of performance per watt, the processor core architectures would “crush the competition”, even the latest models from its rivals. We haven’t yet heard what Nvidia, which announced Tegra 4 on the same day, has to say about that claim.

Jacobs also spoke about Qualcomm’s latest quad-core SoC, the Krait 400, which will be featured on Snapdragon 80 when it’s released this summer. This beast even puts the impressive Krait 300 to shame, with a maximum clock rate of 2.3GHz coupled with new elements in its architecture that can module energy usage. Krait 400 doesn’t have a companion core such as the one seen on Nvidia’s chips, nor does it have any technologies like ARM’s Cortex A15/A9 big.LITTLE, but Jacobs insists that the chip will offer better handling of power voltage and improved management of asynchronous clock rates. Performance-wise, Qualcomm says that the Krait 400 offers 75% more efficiency than the S4 Pro, thanks to improvements made in cache speed and memory management.

Here with more analysis on Qualcomm’s latest chip is contributing editor John Cassaretto, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk program with Kristin Feledy.  More after the jump:

Krait 400 will be backed by LPDDR3 RAM just like the Krait 300, but its graphics capabilities have been boosted by the introduction of an Adreno 330, which is said to offer twice the speed of the Adreno 320. And just as with Nvidia’s Tegra 4, Qualcomm claims it can deliver better performance with HDR and photographs due to its processing power boost. Max. resolution has been increased to 2560×2048 pixels, while the SoC can also handle UHD decoding and encoding at 30 frames/second.

Both of the new Snapdragons come with the added advantage of a built-in modem, together with support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Category 4 4G LTE mobile networks. Theoretically, this means the download speed should be upped to 150Mbps, although reports suggest that theoretical upload speed remains at 50Mbps.

We’re expecting a number of new smartphones featuring the new Snapdragon cores to be unveiled later at CES – when they are, we’ll be the first to let you know!