Qualcomm has announced an updated processor and long-term evolution (LTE) modem within its Snapdragon 800 family, with the new chip headed to smartphones, tablets and Ultra HD TVs.
The Snapdragon 805 is Qualcomm's most powerful, highest-performing system on chip so far. It packs a quad-core, 2.5GHz Krait 450 CPU and an Adreno 420 GPU that has 40 per cent more power than the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 800 (found in modern tablets and smartphones, like the Galaxy Note 3.)
The Snapdragon 805 is still a 32-bit CPU, but it's likely that the next Snapdragon, or an unnamed successor, will equal Apple's as-yet-unmatched 64-bit mobile A7 chipset. Where the previous Snapdragon 800 supported displays up to 2560x2048 pixels, the new 805 will be able to run at 3840x2160 pixels on a system level, making it perfect for powering an Ultra HD TV.
Also announced alongside the Snapdragon 805, Qualcomm's Gobi 9x35 and WTR3925 LTE modem and RF transceiver chips are the first to be made with support for global 4G LTE, including carrier aggregation LTE-Advanced, which allows download speeds of up to 300Mbps. This flagship LTE modem chipset would allow any phone with it installed to be sold as a single model worldwide, reducing fragmentation and letting customers roam on international networks easily.
Telstra is the first Australian carrier to begin public testing of LTE-Advanced — using partial spectrum, which will allow limited speed increases but hugely improved range and building penetration for 4G signals. The high-speed Telstra LTE-Advanced roll-out will begin in earnest in 2015 when the company gains access to the 700MHz spectrum it bought from the Australian government in the middle of this year.
Qualcomm's new processors and LTE chipsets should start appearing in consumer devices in the first half of 2014.