Qualcomm rolls 28-nm Snapdragon

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – At its analyst meeting in New York on Wednesday (Nov. 17), Qualcomm Inc. has rolled out a new version of its Snapdragon chipset, based on a 28-nm process.

Geared for smartphones and tablets, the chipset will feature a new CPU core. ”The MSM8960 will be a dual-core chip using an upgraded CPU core based on a new micro-architecture that delivers approximately five times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip at 75 percent less power,” according to Qualcomm (San Diego).

It will feature an integrated multi-mode modem that supports LTE as well as all 3G modes. It will offer upgraded graphics capabilities with four times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip, as well as built-in integrated connectivity for WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth and FM, according to Qualcomm.

The MSM8960 will also be the first Qualcomm chip built on 28-nm process technology and will begin sampling in 2011.

At present, Qualcomm has been selling the MSM8x60 chipset platform, which consists of the MSM8260 and MSM8660. Based on 45-nm and ARM-based technology, this Snapdragon chipset also makes use of dual-CPU cores running at up to 1.2-GHz.  Qualcomm’s device is being used in smartphones from HTC, Google, among others.

The MSM8960 is also said to be based on ARM, but Qualcomm did not elaborate. Qualcomm licenses the ARM architecture and puts its own spin on the technology. It also did not identify the foundry.

In January, wireless technology company Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif.) said it was working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) on 28-nm process technology and that it intends to move directly to the advanced process. Qualcomm and TSMC worked together on the 65- and 45-nm manufacturing process technologies.

In July, Qualcomm expanded its foundry roster, by announcing a deal with GlobalFoundries Inc. Initially, GlobalFoundries (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said it intends to provide Qualcomm) with access to 45-nm low-power and 28-nm foundry technologies, with an intended collaboration on future advanced process nodes.


Mark LaPedus, EEtimes, 17/11/2010

Archived on Mon, 22/11/2010 – 11:31