Qualcomm unveils new processors as analyst day gets going

Qualcomm (QCOM +0.1%) has used its analyst day to take the wraps off several new chips. Among them is the Snapdragon 805, a new flagship baseband/app processor sporting four cores running at up to 2.5GHz. (the Snapdragon 800 tops out at 2.3GHz.), as well as a next-gen GPU said to offer a 40% performance gain.

Some other features: 25.6GB/s of memory bandwidth, support for the low-power H.265 4K video codec, and integrated motion sensor processing.

A new 4G baseband modem, the Gobi 9x35, has also been launched. The 9x35 uses a next-gen 20nm manufacturing process (likely from TSMC), and can support (via LTE carrier aggregation) download speeds of up to 300Mbps, twice that of the current Gobi 9x25.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm's Atheros unit is launching its IPQ processors, which combine a dual-core CPU with a packet-processing engine, for the router, home gateway, and media server markets. Qualcomm claims the IPQ line offers 70% lower power draw than rival products; it represents new competition for Broadcom (BRCM), Marvell (MRVL -0.5%), and Cavium (CAVM +0.1%).

Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 805 to be in commercial devices in 1H14, and for the 9x35 to begin sampling in early 2014. The company is counting on the chips to fend off intensifying baseband and app processor competition from Intel, Broadcom, MediaTek (just launched an 8-core CPU), and Nvidia. The company's lead in integrating powerful app processors with 4G modems still gives it an edge when competing for many designs.

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