Qualcomm on Wednesday hosted an event in London to showcase its upcoming chip developments. The technology on show will impact upcoming devices and connectivity, as well as services and app development, according to the company.
Among the confirmed announcements is that the first commercial 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon devices will be on the shelves in the first quarter of next year, followed closely by dual-core based mobile devices "in the first half of 2011", according to Enrico Salvatore, senior vice president, Qualcomm Europe.
The QSD8x50 chipset is "a highly integrated, mobile optimised system on a chip that features Qualcomm's own ARM-based microprocessor core, graphics, processor, rich multimedia, GPS and wireless connectivity," according to the company.
The chips are destined to be used in a range of devices and will support all major mobile operating systems, including Android, webOS, Brew, Windows Phone and BlackBerry operating systems, Salvatore revealed.
The company also talked about wireless connectivity provisioning through its Gobi API which is already available across various chipsets; ranging from the MDM6200, which supports HSPA+ data rates up to 14.4Mbps, up to the MDM 9200, which supports LTE rates up to 100Mbps and includes backward compatibility for dual-carrier HSPA+. Qualcomm says the advantage of Gobi is that it can be easily integrated into any consumer device, immediately providing wireless connectivity.
Qualcomm is also putting a lot of weight behind its MSM8655-based Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform (MDP) which it says enables application and content developers (as well as device manufacturers) to test and optimise on Snapdragon chipsets targeted at smartphones, though it is currently only aimed at development on the Brew and Android platforms.
The currently-Android-only sentiment is echoed by its Augmented Reality Platform (ARP) software development kit (SDK) which will be available aimed only at Android 2.1 (and higher) when it is released, for free, to developers this autumn — though no specific date was given.
"We've been working on Android from the very beginning, so we have a good relationship with Google," said Andrew Gilbert, president of Qualcomm during his keynote presentation.
The ARP SDK was also given an extensive demo at IQ 2010 and gave some interesting ideas about where the development of augmented reality apps could be headed. This was demoed using an up-to-date augmented reality version of the classic board game 'Rock em, Sock em Robots', utilising the phones camera to bring the robots to life on-screen. While developments in AR already have gaming applications, Qualcomm is also hoping that developers recognise the potential in other areas such as 'how-to' guides (for example, assembling flat pack furniture from instructions), Interactive marketing and media and also learning, for example to aid in learning a foreign language or to help children to learn.
To encourage developers to work on the platform, Qualcomm is hosting the Augmented Reality Developer Challenge, which promises a total prize pool of $200,000 (£129,000) and a first prize of $125,000. The closing date for entries is 7 January and the winners are expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress 2011.