LAS VEGAS: IT'S NOT EASY to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft's high profile Windows and Xbox launch events, but that's what Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chip was tasked with in the first ever non-Microsoft CES opening keynote.
The mobile chip was the big announcement in the headline address of the biggest technology conference of the year. With that billing comes high expectations. Does the Snapdragon 800 measure up?
The first versions of the Snapdragon 800 series chips, which will be aimed at the tablet sector, are only available in prototype devices. The first OEM models equipped with the processor are still some months away and likely will only arrive in full force towards the end of the year.
Qualcomm made a point of playing up the muscle behind Snapdragon. The company loves to show off complex images rendered as wireframe to underscore how much processing power is being put into each of its demonstration scenes.
The Snapdragon 800 processor will largely target the gaming market in its earliest incarnations. However, where high-end gaming is found, creative professionals and other high demand business users are not far behind. The chip offers console quality graphics and high frame rates, while controls appeared fluid and responsive, even for a prototype.
Along with more processing power, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chips will feature new power management tools. Qualcomm showed the chip regulating its power intake by turning off unused processor cores and regulating the activity of the GPU as needed.
Check back for our Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 review. µ