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Qualcomm aims its latest chips squarely at China

Enter the low cost, high volume Snapdragon...

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US chip giant Qualcomm has taken the wraps off two new Snapdragon processors optimised for the huge Chinese smartphone market as it looks to expand its worldwide footprint and become a top-two player in the market.

The MSM8226 and MSM8626 chipsets will expand the firm’s S4 range and feature the Adreno 305 GP, quad core CPUs, 1080p capture and playback and support for a 13 megapixel camera.

The 28nm designs have been built with the world’s largest smartphone market in mind, where high volume, low cost is usually key to success for handset makers.

“This expanded roadmap provides our customers with a differentiated feature set upon which to build compelling smartphones for budget-conscious consumers,” said Qualcomm EVP Cristiano Amon.

The chipsets feature a WTR2605 multi-mode radio transceiver “optimised to address China specific requirements” including support for TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1xAdv and HSPA+.

TD-SCDMA is the home-grown 3G standard used almost exclusively today by China Mobile, much to the chagrin of fanbois who wish the carrier and Apple would hurry up sort things out so that iPhones work with the Middle Kingdom's premier mobile network.

There’s also support in the new chips for emerging GPS alternatives from Russian (GLONASS) and China (Beidou). Qualcomm's talking up power consumption, too, claiming the WTR2605 transceiver is 40 per cent more power efficient than its previous generation of products.

The firm is obviously looking to build on its growing success in the region powering popular high-end handsets such as the Xiaomi M2 by offering more China-friendly features at a lower price point.

As such, it could ruffle some feathers over at MediaTek, Asia’s largest chip company, which has historically targeted the low-end itself.

Both firms have been climbing the global rankings of late at the expense of their rivals. Qualcomm grew its revenue by over 27 per cent this year to take third spot while Taiwan-based MediaTek burst into the top 20 at number 17 with the biggest leap of all those ranked, according to analyst IHS iSuppli. ®

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