New Processors Touted At Mobile World Congress

GSMA Mobile World Congress kicks off with mobile processor news: NVIDIA announces Tegra 3 Super Phones, Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon S4 Pro, Intel expands smartphone portfolio, Marvell introduces multimode TD LTE modem chipset.

GSMA Mobile World Congress kicks off this week in Barcelona Spain highlighting how mobile technologies are increasingly embedded in our lives and transforming our world.

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research announced a new study that further examines the market potential of the Connected Life in 2020, when the number of total connected devices will reach 24 billion worldwide. The research explores how the Connected Life will open up new revenue streams, facilitate new business models, drive efficiencies and improve the way existing services are delivered to create a global business impact worth as much as $4.5 trillion.

“Today the connected devices market is dominated by mobile phones, but this will change in the future as a new wave of smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics and M2M devices connect everything from cars to health services and even entire cities,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “The Connected Life will have a positive impact on many industries; however capitalising on this enormous opportunity requires cross-sector collaboration to fully realise the power of mobile for the benefit of billions of people globally.”

Among the numerous announcements coming out of the conference, several mobile processor announcements were made, including NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Intel and Marvell.

NVIDIA Tegra 3 Super Phones.  NVIDIA (NVDA) announced the world's first NVIDIA Tegra 3 super phones, including the HTC One X, LG Optimus 4X HD, ZTE Era, Fujitsu's Ultra High Spec Smartphone and the K-Touch Treasure V8.  Running at speeds up to 1.5 GHz the Tegra 3 is a 4-PLUS-1 quad-core CPU architecture that includes a 12-core GPU, to deliver up to 5x the performance of the Tegra 2. The Tegra 3 also has 3x the graphics performance of the Tegra 2 process, including support for stereoscopic 3D.  New video engines in the Tegra 3 include support for 1080p high profile video at 40 Mbps. "The year of the quad-core phone has truly begun," said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. "But quad-core still isn't enough. With Tegra 3 we built a processor with unique 4-PLUS-1 quad-core architecture so that you can get great battery life and performance when you need it."

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon S4 Pro.  Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that it will offer a Pro version of the Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor to enable even more capable mobile computing devices. The S4 Pro processor features the Adreno 320 GPU, support for higher resolution displays, as well as hardware and software compatibility with the S4 class. The Pro version has been optimized for advanced operating systems, including the anticipated Windows 8 system. The S4 Pro processors are expected to come to market in the second half of 2012. “As a result of strong customer demand for Snapdragon S4 processors, we’ve added a new Pro version of MSM8960 to continue delivering the highest performing mobile processors in the industry,” said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm. “By delivering the S4 Pro processor in 2012, we are fulfilling our promise that Snapdragon processors will remain the industry’s barometer for excellence in mobile computing while helping our customers bring the most innovative smartphones and tablets to market.”

Intel expands smartphone portfolio.  Intel Corporation (INTC) President and CEO Paul Otellini detailed a number of announcements and plans aimed at expanding the company's smartphone product portfolio and customer ecosystem, including strategic new engagements with Orange, Lava International Ltd., ZTE, and Visa. The new customer engagements build upon existing deals with Motorola Mobility and Lenovo and will be based on Intel's smartphone reference design. Intel also announced a multi-year alliance with Visa to develop mobile commerce solutions tailored to consumers in developed and developing countries. Plans were detailed for three new smartphone SoC (System on Chip) products that expand the company's portfolio from the performance-to-value market segments. The Intel Atom processor Z2460 will now support speeds up to 2 GHz and the Atom Z2000 will address a low end market need for a growing handset opportunity. Intel also announced the Atom Z2580 processor that doubles the performance of the Atom processor Z2460, and features an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G solution. Intel will sample the Z2580 in the second half of the year with customer products scheduled in the first half of 2013.

Marvell multimode TD LTE modem chipset.  Marvell (MRVL) announced the Marvell PXA1802, a multimode TD LTE modem chipset for TD-SCDMA and LTE markets. As a 3G and 4G mobile broadband modem, the PXA1802 integrates an advanced next-generation Time-Division Duplexing (TDD), Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) LTE and Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) technology onto a single chip that is fully backward compatible with current China TD-SCDMA standards, designed to provide a true universal platform. “Today’s connected lifestyle is enabled by high-performance global cellular networks," said Weili Dai, Co-Founder of Marvell. "I believe Marvell’s market leadership in China’s 3G TD-SCDMA and our innovations in multimode 4G LTE solutions will provide us a unique advantage in bringing worldwide consumers closer together.”

Mobile World Congress can be viewed online live, and followed on Twitter with with #MWC12.

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