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Qualcomm outs dual-core ARM-based, LTE-capable pad chip

28nm die-shrink for 4x graphics boost, 5x speed jump

Top three mobile application threats

Faster tablets in 2011? You betcha: Qualcomm has said it will release 28nm dual-core Snapdragon ARM CPUs next year.

The mobile comms hardware maker last night claimed the chip, formally dubbed the MSM8960, will "deliver approximately five times the performance of the original Snapdragon chip at 75 per cent less power".

So, smoother UIs, better video playback and longer battery life, if Qualcomm's claim proves correct.

Qualcomm also said the tablet- and smartphone-oriented chip will feature a fourfold increase in graphics performance, EE Times reports. On the communications side, it will support LTE, the fourth-gen follow-up to HSDPA 3G, which it will also support. Expect integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM support too, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm already offers a dual-core Snapdragon, the MSM8660, which clocks at up to 1.2GHz. It's fabbed at 45nm, and the die-shrink to 28nm should give Qualcomm the headroom to provide the speed and capability enhancements.

The MSM8960's actually release date hasn't been stated - Qualcomm simply said the chip will be released next year in sample quantities to allow potential customers to test the part. Sooner than later, we hope, if it can indeed deliver as promised. ®

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