Jul 21 AT 2:51 AM Taylor Wimberly 15 Comments

Qualcomm put on the gas, Krait sampled ahead of schedule, first commercial 28nm device this calendar year

Who will have the lowest-power, highest-performance mobile processor in Android devices by the end of this year?

Qualcomm tried to clear up any confusion about the launch of their new processor micro-architecture, code-named Krait, on today’s Q3 2011 earnings call. “We sampled the Snapdragon MSM8960 ahead of schedule this quarter,” said Steven Mollenkopf,  Qualcomm’s Executive Vice President. “Our first 28-nanometer device will really go commercial at the end of this calendar year.”

Qualcomm puts the pedal to the metal

So why is Qualcomm in such a rush to get their latest silicon out the door? They might not admit it, but I believe NVIDIA and other competitors have forced Qualcomm to speed up their cadence.

It is surprising for Qualcomm to sample these new chipsets early, as they have traditionally tried to extend their product life-cycle as long as possible to maximize their profits. Devices with Qualcomm’s first dual-core Scorpion Snapdragons (MSM8x60), like the HTC Sensation and HTC EVO 3D, just started appearing in stores. Now that part will be eclipsed by a successor only months later.

Steven Mollenkopf revealed Qualcomm would open up their wallet this year to get Krait out early. “We are modestly increasing our R&D investments in the fiscal fourth quarter to support new process technologies, the commercialization of our expanding multi-core and LTE product offerings and to support multiple new customer opportunities.”

Who will have the first Krait device?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which handset maker will get Krait first. Qualcomm and HTC are joined at the hip; I often think of them as the same company. Several sources have told us HTC already provided prototype devices with Krait to Google.

Can a dual-core compete with a quad-core?

Just a few months ago, it looked like NVIDIA would hold the performance (and hype) crown for awhile with their quad-core Project Kal-El. Now Qualcomm is pretty confident their Krait parts will offer a better experience and could arrive in smartphones before NVIDIA’s quad-core.

TechRadar reported that Ben Timmons, senior director of marketing and business development at Qualcomm, said “regardless of GPU and CPU power, we’re in a strong position because of our experience of optimising and integrating our hardware with software and the actual user experience. Our dual core will be as good as a standard quad core.”

We still don’t know exactly how Krait will stack up to the competition in terms of raw performance, but it is the first 28-nanometer mobile processor. So, it should offer industry leading battery life. Qualcomm claims Krait has “65 percent lower power than currently available ARM-based CPU cores”, but we don’t know which ARM parts they are comparing it to.

If you want a more technical breakdown on Krait then head over to AnandTech.

So will I really be able to buy a Krait device this year?

It sounds entirely possible that Qualcomm will have Krait ready by Q4, but that still doesn’t mean devices will be in stores for you to run out and purchase. At this point, it’s still too early to tell.

In a perfect world I’m sure Qualcomm would love for Krait to find its way into the Nexus 3 and become the lead platform for Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones. However, it would take a long time for Qualcomm engineers to bring up a new version of Android on Krait.

Google has hinted that another Nexus device would ship around the holidays to coincide with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Rumors suggest Texas Instruments has access to Ice Cream and their OMAP4 platform is already available, but I wouldn’t count Qualcomm out yet.

My opinion will likely change as we count down to Christmas, but I seriously doubt Google will delay their flagship Nexus smartphone to wait on a semiconductor partner. Texas Instrument’s OMAP4 is ready now. That’s the safe bet for Ice Cream Sandwich.

I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t expect Krait devices to appear until early 2012.

Source: SeekingAlpha

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website TWiT Commander

    Man. Now I am having budgetary concerns. I have put money aside for the Nokia N9 and the next Nexus (whenever that comes out), and the HP Pre3 if I like it after an in-store demo. Now this. I hope this is in the next Nexus.

  • HipHopIsLyfe37

    This is just getting out of hand

  • http://Website jose

    Outrages bring the popcorn people..(with butter)

  • http://Website ihatefanboys

    slap one of those bad boys in the G3 next year and you have a guaranteed sale right here HTC….im sure it will include NFC capabilities and all that other goodness that HTC is known for…..and if it is in a NEXUS then i hope HTC makes it, then i will give a nexus strong consideration….sorry i will not touch any smartphone made by SAMSUCK….its HTC, and maybe LG, and thats a big maybe, especially since my G-SLATE bricked and i had to send it in for repairs…so LG is on probation at the moment.. id rather get a HTC G3 with google, physical keyboard, nfc, and this processor, or a better one, especially if the G3 follows previous models in the G series and comes out in october 2012….we shall see.

  • http://Website Jordan

    Now this is why Android and me is my favorite website – Real Articles and interesting material, not the same old story recycled by another Android blog, thanks Taylor!

    • http://Website thetruth

      Taylor is sorely missed. Please post more, less fanboy articles and more facts are welcome.

      • http://Website Raptor

        Yes, AM got very nice team.
        Eclipsed TheInquirer, and literally approaching Engadget

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com max

    still waiting for kalel

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    It’s always fantastic to hear from Taylor whenever possible. By now everyone who knows me knows I only ROLL WITH HTC/QUALCOMM/SPRINT that will never change in my world. When you have the BEST you never change from it. If the maker of the next NEXUS DEVICE is HTC being an current EVO 3D OWNER who has been a part of the EVO BRAND for (2) generations would have to give that device VERY SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. Otherwise I am waiting on the next EVO BRAND that will be out in July of 2012. Some great things will be associated with the new EVO in 2012 4.7 inch screen, 1.5 or 1.8 Ghz processor plus 1gb of ram, as well as one of those new krait processors rather dualcore or quadcore that remains to be seen. I just know battery life will be better on the next EVO device in 2012. Qualcomm is headed in the BEST direction possible and I support all things Qualcomm.

  • http://Website Transient

    I see about zero real world performance improvements on dual core Android phones. I got A NS4G, EVO3D and Atrix to back that up. Once Android gets HW acceleration, the GPU will be the bottleneck and since they all are now pretty powerful, I don’t see that as an issue. So what I want is this small little power efficient CPU.

    Hell, I say down clock the sucker to 1.2 GHz and throw in a 1800mAh+ battery.

  • carlson

    Question: “You said that yourself had to use 28-nanometer device. Realistically, how much of your overall mix do you think 28-nanometer should be in, let’s say, 2 quarters from now?”

    Response: “Sure, 28-nanometer, our first 28-nanometer device will really go commercial at the end of this calendar year so it really won’t show up until the next calendar year.”

    Sooo is he saying they’ll have one device ready in q4, but the chip isn’t going to really hit the mainstream until later in 2012? If they really are just having ONE device this year, that bodes well for a single flagship android phone. A Nexus device makes sense, but we’ll see.

  • http://watpads.com watpads

    Nowadays, the technology has no limits..

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  1. TWiT CommanderGuest 4 years ago

    Man. Now I am having budgetary concerns. I have put money aside for the Nokia N9 and the next Nexus (whenever that comes out), and the HP Pre3 if I like it after an in-store demo. Now this. I hope this is in the next Nexus.

  2. This is just getting out of hand

  3. joseGuest 4 years ago

    Outrages bring the popcorn people..(with butter)

  4. ihatefanboysGuest 4 years ago

    slap one of those bad boys in the G3 next year and you have a guaranteed sale right here HTC….im sure it will include NFC capabilities and all that other goodness that HTC is known for…..and if it is in a NEXUS then i hope HTC makes it, then i will give a nexus strong consideration….sorry i will not touch any smartphone made by SAMSUCK….its HTC, and maybe LG, and thats a big maybe, especially since my G-SLATE bricked and i had to send it in for repairs…so LG is on probation at the moment.. id rather get a HTC G3 with google, physical keyboard, nfc, and this processor, or a better one, especially if the G3 follows previous models in the G series and comes out in october 2012….we shall see.

  5. JordanGuest 4 years ago

    Now this is why Android and me is my favorite website – Real Articles and interesting material, not the same old story recycled by another Android blog, thanks Taylor!

  6. maxGuest 4 years ago

    still waiting for kalel

  7. Richard YarrellGuest 4 years ago

    It’s always fantastic to hear from Taylor whenever possible. By now everyone who knows me knows I only ROLL WITH HTC/QUALCOMM/SPRINT that will never change in my world. When you have the BEST you never change from it. If the maker of the next NEXUS DEVICE is HTC being an current EVO 3D OWNER who has been a part of the EVO BRAND for (2) generations would have to give that device VERY SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. Otherwise I am waiting on the next EVO BRAND that will be out in July of 2012. Some great things will be associated with the new EVO in 2012 4.7 inch screen, 1.5 or 1.8 Ghz processor plus 1gb of ram, as well as one of those new krait processors rather dualcore or quadcore that remains to be seen. I just know battery life will be better on the next EVO device in 2012. Qualcomm is headed in the BEST direction possible and I support all things Qualcomm.

  8. TransientGuest 4 years ago

    I see about zero real world performance improvements on dual core Android phones. I got A NS4G, EVO3D and Atrix to back that up. Once Android gets HW acceleration, the GPU will be the bottleneck and since they all are now pretty powerful, I don’t see that as an issue. So what I want is this small little power efficient CPU.

    Hell, I say down clock the sucker to 1.2 GHz and throw in a 1800mAh+ battery.

  9. carlsonGuest 4 years ago

    Question: “You said that yourself had to use 28-nanometer device. Realistically, how much of your overall mix do you think 28-nanometer should be in, let’s say, 2 quarters from now?”

    Response: “Sure, 28-nanometer, our first 28-nanometer device will really go commercial at the end of this calendar year so it really won’t show up until the next calendar year.”

    Sooo is he saying they’ll have one device ready in q4, but the chip isn’t going to really hit the mainstream until later in 2012? If they really are just having ONE device this year, that bodes well for a single flagship android phone. A Nexus device makes sense, but we’ll see.

  10. watpadsGuest 4 years ago

    Nowadays, the technology has no limits..

  11. reumatismiGuest 3 years ago

    That is really interesting, You’re a very professional blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for in search of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks

  12. bed wetting alarm for childrenGuest 3 years ago

    Usually I don’t learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.