Snapdragon 805 developer tablet is a peek at tomorrow’s high-end devices

April 4, 2014
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Qualcomm’s new development platform based on the Snapdragon 805 packs some amazing features.

Manufactured by Intrinsyc, the Mobile Development Platform Tablet (MDP/T) is meant to offer app and game developers early access to the processor that will power most high-end Android devices coming in the second part of the year. To accommodate as many use cases as possible, the 10-inch tablet is packed to the gills with features, and some of them are quite exotic.

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Starting with the brains of the device, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor combines four mighty Krait 450 cores running at up to 2.7GHz each with an Adreno 420 GPU, the first mobile GPU to offer geometry shaders and hardware tessellation for amazing 3D graphics. There’s also a Hexagon QDSP6 V5A (600MHz) DSP chip to make sense of data from all the sensors, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and 64GB eMMC 5.0 storage.

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To get to the really sexy stuff, the MDP/T comes with dual front 3D infrared cameras that can recognize gestures and a 13MP rear camera capable of recording 4K content. There are no fewer than seven microphones on the device, which can be used for surround sound recording and for another amazing trick – recognizing input from an ultrasound emitting stylus.

As you can briefly see in the video above at the 1:00 mark, Qualcomm’s Fluence Pro technology lets users write on any surface using a special stylus, and the movement of the tip of the stylus is accurately transmitted to the tablet in real time. The tech seems to be based on the work of Israeli company EPOS, which Qualcomm acquired back in 2012.

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The Snapdragon 805 development tablet also comes with a fingerprint scanner, hardware-based HEVC (H.265) video decoding, dual-band two stream Wi-Fi, and 7.1 channel playback speakers. The battery is a just 3,400 mAh, but that’s because the device is meant to be used on a desk, plugged in an AC source, rather than on the go.

Android OEMs probably won’t implement all of these features in their Snapdragon 805-based smartphones and tablets coming from this summer. But Qualcomm’s development platform does give us an idea of the performance and features of mobile devices six months from now.

If you’re a developer interested in developing for the Snapdragon 805, or if you just must have it, you can buy the Mobile Development Platform Tablet from Intrinsyc for $800, with shipping expected later this month.

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