Qualcomm bringing 4K video to mobile devices with new Snapdragon chip

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 chip will be in smartphones and tablets early next year

Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 slide

Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 slide

Qualcomm has introduced a mobile chip that will play back 4K video on smartphones and tablets in addition to supporting the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The Snapdragon 805 chip, announced on Wednesday, could be Qualcomm's fastest performing chip. The quad-core chip operates at a clock speed of 2.5GHz and has the latest Adreno 420 graphics engine, which can process 4K or UltraHD video at a 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution.

High-definition TVs that support 4K video are already available, but smartphone chip makers now want to bring the technology to smaller screens. The Snapdragon 805 chip has the memory bandwidth to handle 4K video rendering, and will do so at low power, Qualcomm said. It also has an integrated LTE modem and supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips are in some of the top smartphones and tablets from Samsung, Google, HTC, LG and others. Google's Nexus 5, which was announced late last month, has the Snapdragon 800 processor.

Snapdragon 805 will reach devices in the first quarter of next year, Qualcomm said.

The company also announced a line of Internet Processor chips, which are targeted at media servers and networking devices. The chips are also targeted at the emerging market of the so-called Internet of things, in which Internet-connected devices act as data-gathering instruments that can send and receive data. The Internet Processor chips will have dual-core CPUs and wireless communication features including LTE and 802.11ac. They will also support powerline networking and Gigabit Ethernet.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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