Earlier today, popular chip manufacturer Qualcomm issued a press release detailing some of the new features that are heading to its Snapdragon 400 line-up of processors. The Snapdragon 400 is a mid-range mobile processor which will be appearing in products like the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini among others.
The major news is the addition of multimode 3G/4G LTE, which will provide handset manufacturers with an integrated LTE compatible chip without the high price tag associated with premium integrated processors like the Snapdragon 600.
The feature will be available on all new Snapdragon 400 and reference design dual and quad-core processors before the end of 2013, the aim being to ensure that emerging regions are equipped for further introductions of 3G and 4G LTE networks. In addition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, Qualcomm is integrating other key modem features that are important to regions China and other emerging markets, including TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps), and multi-SIM capabilities.
To top of the list of features, the processors also support integrated Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC, just like their more expensive Snapdragon 600 and 800 counterparts.
Come the end of the year, and into 2014, this means that we should see a selection of mid-range smartphones sporting LTE capabilities, and emerging markets will see a greater range of affordable handsets offering access to faster data speeds.
“By offering a multimode 3G/4G LTE variant to Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 tier of processors with quad-core CPUs, we are ensuring that emerging regions are equipped and prepared for the imminent transition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, in addition to being equipped for every major 2G and 3G technology,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies. “Snapdragon 400 processors provide customers with a wide range of innovative smartphones for both the high-volume and mid-tier segments.”
Building on Qualcomm Technologies’ previous Snapdragon processors, the newest Snapdragon 400 processor will continue to support multi-SIM capabilities of Dual SIM, Dual Standby and Dual SIM, Dual Active and is optimized to deliver a smooth, graphics-rich gaming experience and provides Miracast™ support for wireless streaming of multimedia content. The platform also supports a rich set of wireless connectivity functionality including integrated Qualcomm VIVE™ 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC. It also offers a differentiated feature set that includes support for the latest Android and Windows Phone 8 software. In addition, it includes the QuickCharge 1.0 feature charges devices up to 40 percent faster than conventional charging methods.
Qualcomm Technologies will also be releasing a Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) version of the Snapdragon 400 processor with integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE. The QRD program provides device manufacturers with comprehensive handset development platforms and access to third-party providers of tested and verified hardware and software components. Under the QRD program, customers can rapidly deliver differentiated smartphones to budget-conscious consumers. There have been more than 200 public QRD-based product launches to date in collaboration with more than 40 OEMs, and there are currently more than 100 designs in progress.