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CES: Snapdragon 800 headlines a star-studded Qualcomm keynote

Steve Ballmer and Guillermo Del Toro join Paul Jacobs on stage
Tue Jan 08 2013, 04:31
Maroon 5 perform at CES 2013

LAS VEGAS: CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm's CEO Dr Paul Jacobs wowed the CES crowd with a parade of big names and big product announcements in his first ever keynote address at the show.

Jacobs unveiled a new addition to the company's Snapdragon mobile processor line. The 800 Series chips will sport a 2.3ghz clock speed and LTE Advanced wireless broadband capability. Jacobs said that the chip will offer a 75 per cent performance boost over the company's existing 600 series processors.

"It is the most advanced wireless processor ever built," Jacobs said of the chip, which is due to arrive in the second half of the year.

"This little chip is going to make a big impact."

The Qualcomm CEO went on to further demonstrate a prototype tablet running on the Snapdragon 800 chip. The tablet is able to render video in full UltraHD resolution at 40 frames per second as well as capture video in the high definition format.

In support of Jacobs, Qualcomm trotted out a parade of celebrities. Film legend Guillermo Del Toro, actress Alice Eve and NASCAR racing champion Brad Keselowski made cameo appearances to talk up their latest projects and how Qualcomm will be providing processing power, while Archbishop Desmond Tutu recorded a video on the effects of mobile technology on affordable healthcare.

Rolls-Royce lent further celebrity flair to the event when it brought out an electric luxury car powered by batteries storing 73 kilowatt hours of energy, while rock band Maroon 5 closed out the keynote with a special performance.

However, the star who brought the biggest roar from the crowd was a very familiar face at CES. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance in what was to be the first CES keynote not presented by himself or Bill Gates.

Ballmer talked up the partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm that has helped to spawn the latest generation of Windows Phone devices. The Microsoft CEO said that the processing power had helped to enable Microsoft to add features to its mobile devices specifications.

"When we set out to build Windows Phone we did not want to build a single phone for all of us," Ballmer said. "We wanted to build a phone that can be personal for each of us." µ


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