CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm has announced its quad-core Snapdragon 200 and Snapdragon 400 processors for entry level and mid-range smartphones.
Qualcomm already announced its high-end quad-core Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800 chips with HTC's One smartphone being the first headline device to make use of the Snapdragon 600 chip. Now Qualcomm has padded out its range with the quad-core Snapdragon 200 and Snapdragon 400 for entry-level and mid-range smartphones.
The fact that Qualcomm has opted for quad-core ARM Cortex A5 CPU cores even on its low-end Snapdragon 200 highlights the fact that four processing cores will become the baseline for most every smartphone in 2013. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 200 will clock the Cortex A5 cores at 1.4GHz and mate them with the Adreno 203 GPU.
Curiously Qualcomm offers dual-core and quad-core Snapdragon 400 chips, with the dual-core option being based on its Krait chip from last year clocked at 1.7GHz. The firm's quad-core variant is based on four ARM Cortex A7 cores running at 1.4GHz, but unlike the Snapdragon 200, the firm has boosted graphics performance by offering the Adreno 305 GPU.
Qualcomm is clearly aiming both quad-core variants of the Snapdragon 200 and Snapdragon 400 chips at the entry-level smartphone market. However that the firm is sticking to its own custom dual-core Krait architecture based on the ARMv7 architecture suggests it is confident that its engineering can overcome any performance benefits of having two more cores.
Qualcomm didn't say what smartphones based on its Snapdragon 200 and Snapdragon 400 chips are likely to appear other than to say that there will be some out this year. µ