Qualcomm delays upcoming quad core SoCs by a quarter

We're not sure about the exact background, but news has reached us that Qualcomm has delayed some of its upcoming Snapdragon SoC's by a quarter or more. Most products for this year aren't affected though, so it doesn't appear to be an issue with Qualcomm's foundry partner(s).

We're not sure about the exact background, but news has reached us that Qualcomm has delayed some of its upcoming Snapdragon SoC's by a quarter or more. Most products for this year aren't affected though, so it doesn't appear to be an issue with Qualcomm's foundry partner(s).

The products in question that are affected by the delay are Qualcomm's high-end parts, such as the quad core MSM8974 and APQ8094, which we reported about in some detail back in September. The delay seems to only affect a few quad core models, although in addition to the two high-end Snapdragon models mentioned, the mid-range APQ8074 has also been pushed back. The only possible explanation that we currently have is a change in the foundry process technology used, as the one thing these models have in common is that they're Qualcomm's first parts over 2GHz. That said, things may yet change again, as we're over a year away from most of these products.

It's not all bad news though, a in addition to some delays for next year, Qualcomm has managed to introduce some new additions this year. In the entry level smartphone segment the company has decided to introduce a new model known as the MSM8625 with CDMA support or MSM8225 without. This new model will be replacing the aging MSM7625A/7225A, both of which are based on the ARM Cortex-A5 core, but the MSM8x25 models gain not only a higher clock speed of 1GHz, but also a second core and twice the L2 cache at 512KB.

We're also looking at an improved GPU core known as the Adreno 203 which should offer about twice the performance over the Adreno 200. The improved GPU also means support for higher resolution displays on entry level smartphone, at up to WVGA (800×480) resolution. Otherwise the MSM8x25 doesn't differ significantly from the MSM7x25A models, although it supports higher resolution cameras. Expect this to be a popular solution in a lot of entry level smartphones towards the end of the year, as this chip isn't expected to arrive until sometime in Q2 and after that there's still a fairly long development and certification cycle before devices built on it will arrive in the market.