Qualcomm roadmap leaks; Rivals "haven't mastered" power/performance balance says VP

Details of Qualcomm's processor roadmap for 2012 and 2013 have emerged, with the company planning to leverage its "Krait" next-gen chips for up to 2.5GHz quadcore MSM8974 SoCs. According to a roadmap leaked to MobileTechWorld, the MSM8930 and MSM8230 will arrive first, in Q3 2012, with dualcore 1-1.2GHz Krait cores, Adreno 305 graphics and LTE/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA support. It's all part of what Qualcomm chipset VP Raj Tulluri described to SlashGear as a "measured" approach to the battery and performance balance, something the exec doesn't believe rivals NVIDIA or Texas Instrument can compete on.

It should be Q1 2013 when things get really interesting, with the quadcore Krait chips arrival. The MSM8974 will run at between 2.0GHz and 2.5GHz, with 2MB of L2 cache, 800MHz DDR3 dual-channel memory support and Adreno 320 graphics. It'll also pack LTE Cat-4, HSPA+ and various other connectivity support, and be capable of 1080p 60fps HD video together with processing images from up to 30-megapixel sensors.

Those chips should be propping up the flagships in tablets, smartphones and even ultraportable notebooks to rival Intel's Ultrabook drive. SlashGear spoke to Raj Talluri, VP of product management for Qualcomm's chipset division, about what makes the company's chips special, particularly given that NVIDIA expects to have its quadcore Kal-El platform on the market sometime this quarter. The Qualcomm advantage, Talluri says, is that the company designs its own cores rather than, as with NVIDIA, TI and others, using off-the-shelf ARM designs.

"[Firms like NVIDIA and TI] don't have the ability to make their own [cores], they haven't mastered that yet" Talluri pointed out, suggesting that NVIDIA's quadruple Cortex-A9 chip will sacrifice battery life in its pursuit of performance, while arguing that Texas Instruments was limited to just a pair of Cortex-A15 cores in its OMAP5 because any more of the toasty chips "would burn through the package."

Instead, the VP claimed, Krait offers significantly more DMIPS per MHz (i.e. performance) than an A9 core, and is roughly on a par with an A15 core. However, when it comes to DMIPS per milliwatt (i.e. power frugality), Krait uses significantly less than either an A9 or A15 core. Rivals, he suggested, are merely targeting "multicore" rather than "the right core"; Qualcomm has already insisted that its existing dualcore is faster than Kal-El.

Update: Qualcomm has requested that we remove the roadmap information.

[via Netbook News]