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CES 2013: Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 800

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs used his opening keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show to introduce the company’s newest flagship chipset. The Snapdragon 800 is the successor to the hugely popular Snapdragon S4, the processor that powers many top-of-the-line Android smartphones as well as Nokia’s premium Windows Phone, the Lumia 920.

The Snapdragon 800, which will not hit the market until later this year, is a quad-core chipset with speeds of up to 2.3GHz per core thanks to Qualcomm’s new Krait 400 architecture. Like other quad-core chips, this one senses power needs in order to extend battery life and use each core efficiently. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 800 will deliver up to 75% better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

The Snapdragon 800 also supports 4G LTE Advanced. The company says its carrier aggregation work has maximized the number of frequencies it can support, and that the chipset’s fully integrated LTE modem will deliver data rates of up to 150 Mbps. The chipset also integrates Wi-Fi connectivity using the 802.11ac standard.

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 800 is for “premium mobile and computing devices,” meaning that the company has clearly set its sights on PCs and laptops. The San Diego company is taking on its California neighbor Intel head-on, challenging the company that has dominated the world of PC processors for years. Intel, meanwhile, is aggressively making its way into mobile with its Bay Trail-T mobile processors.

The launch of the Snapdragon 800 came within hours of competitor Nvidia’s announcement that it has launched the world’s fastest mobile processor. But unlike Qualcomm, Nvidia did not publish the top clock speeds for its newest chipset, the Tegra 4.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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