November 12, 2009
Qualcomm showed off Thursday a new family of smartphone chipsets that have robust media features and have been optimized to utilize the next generation of mobile broadband.
The MSM7x30 family has the Scorpion CPU that can be found in its Snapdragon chipset, and processors in these chips can go up to 1 GHz depending on what application is being used. The chips will support handsets with Android, Brew, Symbian, and Windows Mobile operating systems, and will potentially enable some advanced media features like 12-megapixel cameras, 720p video recording, and 3-D gaming due to the OpenGL ES 2.0 support. Qualcomm said devices using these chipsets could hit the market by the end of 2010. The company also said it is sampling the Mobile Data Modem family of chipsets, and these multi-mode chips can support 3G and 4G networks using Long-Term Evolution technology. The ability to support HSPA+ and LTE is important because many carriers around the world are transitioning to 4G but still need a fallback until their LTE networks are fully built out. "HSPA's faster data speeds and added capacity offers an attractive upgrade path for our growing network," said Eric Gan, COO of Japan's EMobile, in a statement. "We see Qualcomm's new dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE technology as a real potential benefit for our customers." The chipsets come as carriers are rapidly upgrading their networks to handle the flood of mobile data users. AT&T is upgrading its 3G network to get 7.2 Mbps downstream, Sprint Nextel is making a big bet on WiMax with its Clearwire investments, and Verizon Wireless is planning to rapidly deploy LTE networks. T-Mobile has long lagged in 3G services, but the company is aggressively rolling out and upgrading its data network, and it plans to provide 21 Mbps downstream to a wide swath of its customers next year.
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