Qualcomm announces two new quad core Snapdragons for the Chinese market

December 5, 2012
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Qualcomm just unveiled two new chips today: the MSM8226 and the MSM8626. They’re both 28 nanometer chips, they both have four Krait cores, and they both support TD-SCDMA, which is the 3G technology that China uses. So what’s the difference between these two products? Thanks to Brian Klug, Senior Smartphone Editor at AnandTech, we now know the MSM8226 has GSM/WCDMA support, while the MSM8626 adds support for EV-DO.

Here’s where things get a little bit weird. Qualcomm’s quad core chips, until now, have used the Adreno 320 graphics processor. Such a beefy GPU is needed to power the 1080p screens we see in devices like the HTC Droid DNA. The chips that were announced today don’t use that GPU, they use the weaker Adreno 305. This actually doesn’t come as a surprise to us since the Chinese market is a bit more cost conscious, but still, we would have rather seen something a bit faster.

When are these chips going to hit the market? Qualcomm says they’ll start giving handset makers samples by Q2 2013. Assuming that companies can make a smartphone in 90 days, then you’re looking at next summer. We don’t know how much devices with these chips are going to cost, but Qualcomm says they’re meant for “High-Volume Smartphones”. In China that means anything under $250. Isn’t it crazy that quad core Kraits are soon going to be in midrange devices?

And if you’re an American or European, then don’t worry. A little birdie has told us that Qualcomm will have some awesome new things to announce in Q1 2013. The Krait architecture is going to get a few tweaks to make it even faster, and the clock speeds are also going to go up by a couple hundred megahertz. We’d tell you more, but we’d have to kill you.

Not really, we love you.

UPDATE: Hey everyone, Stefan here. I want to apologize. In this article I said that these new quad core parts use Qualcomm’s Krait core. That’s incorrect. They use ARM’s Cortex A7 core.

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