Published in PC Hardware

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 802, 602A

by on06 January 2014

But you won’t see them in any phones or tablets

A few weeks ago Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 805, which is a refresh of the Snapdragon 800, arguably the fastest smartphone chip to launch in 2013. The 805 features higher clock speeds than its predecessor, but more importantly it has an all new Adreno 420 GPU.

Now the company has announced two new parts, the Snapdragon 802 and Snapdragon 602A, but unlike the 805, they are not aimed at the consumer market.

The 802 is designed specifically to power smart TVs, but not any smart TVs. It is going after 4K and UHD sets. However, if you thought that it features a new GPU, think again. It retains the Adreno 330 GPU of the original Snapdragon 800, along with its four Krait cores, clocked at 1.8GHz. The chip also features dual-band Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac connectivity, which enables ultra-high Wi-Fi capacity for seamless streaming.

The real kicker is the dedicated Hexagon DSP, which provides Dolby Digital and DTS processing. It also enables OEMs to develop their own features, such as audio control and support for various gestures. Although I am not a fan of audio control or even “intelligent” services like Siri and Google Now, I have to say being able to simply tell your TV to mute when the phone starts ringing sounds like a very useful yet simple feature. It is definitely better than looking for the remote.

The Snapdragon 602A is not a smart TV chip – the A suffix appears to denote “automotive.” It is designed for car infotainment systems, so it is a jack of all trades. It features Gobi 3G/4G modems along with WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 connectivity, so it is essentially capable of transforming your car into a mobile hotspot, media centre or office. Since this is an automotive chip, it has to work all over the globe, therefore it supports LTE TDD/FDD, CDMA 1x and 1xEV-DO, DC-HSPA+ and UMTS, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE networks. As a mobile hotspot, it can handle up to eight simultaneous devices, more than enough for the average company car, or to keep a couple of kids busy (and quiet) in the back seat.

Qualcomm says the first “Gobi 4G LTE” cars will be rolled out this year. As for the 802, the chips should sample soon and we should see the first smart TVs based on the new chip by the end of the year.

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