Qualcomm rumored to be prepping a monster mobile processor

The chip will give Apple and Nvidia's latest hot rod mobile chips more than a run for their money.

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Reports from two Chinese tech sites hint that Qualcomm is reading a mobile processor with specs that sound like something out of a PC processor, which should be more than a match for the Apple A7 and Nvidia Tegra K1.

MyDrivers and PadNews both report that Qualcomm is preparing a chip called the Snapdragon 810, a system-on-chip design with eight 64-bit custom cores with up to 4MB of cache and up to 2.50GHz individual core frequency.

The processor also integrates an Adreno 430 graphics core with up to 500MHz clock rate, an LPDDR3/LPDDR4 memory controller and other special-purpose hardware. It is said there will be two versions of the processor, one with integrated baseband capabilities and one without baseband. The former would be for smartphones, the latter for tablets. The chips would be made using 20nm fabrication process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC).

The chips are said to use the Krait64 core, which is a new, 64-bit architecture that is different from the 64-bit Cortex-A57 design ARM has introduced. The main difference is that Qualcomm does not use ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture that mixes low power, slower cores with high power, faster cores and then shifts workloads as needed to save on power. Krait cores are all high-powered.

Qualcomm's Krait is a CPU core based on the high-end ARM Cortex-A15 and is used as the CPU core in Snapdragon S4 and 400/600/800 processors. The S4 is used in many smartphones, including most of the Nokia Lumia line, HTC One line, Droid Razr and Galaxy S III and S IV.

Still, you have to wonder about the battery life of a smartphone with eight cores all running at 2.5 Ghz. Sure, they shut down inactive ones, but still, that's going to be a serious drain. It sounds like the Krait64 is entirely a Qualcomm design rather than going with the Cortex-A57.

No wonder Anand Chandrasekher was banished to the woodshed for dissing Apple's 64-bit chip. No he wasn't fired but he hasn't done an interview since the ill-fated one that got him in trouble.

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