Published in Processors
Qualcomm talks quad-core S4 chips
Ultrathin ARM notebooks on the way
Qualcomm seems to think that Intel’s ultrabooks are a bit too chubby and they could do with a new diet, sans x86 chips.
Qualcomm is apparently working on quad-core Snapdragon S4 chips, but they are not destined for smartphones or tablets, but rather ultrathin notebooks. Qualcomm senior VP Rob Chandhok believes lines between various product categories are becoming blurred, which should allow ARM chip designers a bit more maneuvering room.
One key market segment where ARM has yet to gain a foothold is the notebook space and power efficient ARM chips bring a lot to the table.
"We think much lighter than what Intel calls an ultrabook," Chandhok said.
Qualcomm’s S4 is the first 28nm ARM chip and it is loosely based on a highly modified A9 core, backed with latest Adreno graphics. However, what really sets the upcoming quad-core apart from dual-core designs is the clock. The quad is said to run at up to 2.5GHz, which sounds very impressive indeed, as most current ARM chips max out at about 1.5GHz.
However, it is unclear whether the new quad-core will end up in smartphones or tablets. For the time being, Qualomm’s quad-core game plan seems to revolve around ultrathin notebooks, Windows rigs to be exact. This is Intel territory, but since Intel believes it can enter the smartphone space with Medfield , there is no reason for Qualcomm not to return the favor.