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Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 to Boost Mobile Chipset Business

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Qualcomm Inc. QCOM , the market leader in mobile chipsets, has lined up its latest processor - the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 - to power next-gen flagship phones. The company hopes to deliver better performance with this chipset compared to it predecessor, Snapdragon 810, which reported heating issues.

The company will be using the quad-core CPU marketed as 'Kyro' instead of the octa-core which it currently uses. Qualcomm has also announced Snapdragon 430 and Snapdragon 617 to fire up lower-priced and midrange devices, respectively.

The Technology

The announcement of quad-core chipsets may initially come as a surprise especially when Qualcomm's competitors like MediaTech are beefing up the System on Chip (SoC) to deca-cores. But this time around, the company has stepped up its processing power in the single cores itself and utilized the other components in a more efficient manner. Much of the chip's improvements are owing to the move from a 20nm to 14nm FinFET manufacturing process. However, how the SoC actually fares against the Mediatek's latest Helio X20 deca-core SoC and the likes, is yet to be seen.

Make-or-Break Moment

For long, Qualcomm has operated as the undisputed leader in the mobile chipset space. However, in recent times, it has faced challenges from low-cost chip manufacturers like MediaTek and Rockchip as well as handset manufacturers' SoC (System on Chip) projects such as Exynos by Samsung. Moreover, due to the heating and reliability issues that plague the current Snapdragon 810, certain manufacturers like LG Corp. have opted to utilize the previous-gen Snapdragon 808. Likewise, manufacturers like Sony Corp. SNE have incrementally adopted MediaTek's SoC for their product lines, bringing on desperate times for Qualcomm.

On the other hand, Qualcomm still powers Apple Inc.'s AAPL iPhone 6S's modem, but there have been reports that the Cupertino, CL-based company may chose Intel Corp. INTC for its next line of iPhones.

The Bottom Line

Apart from activities in the mobile space, the company aims to implement similar ARM-based chipsets to power consumer drones and data servers in the future, placing itself in direct competition with Intel. Thus, it is now crucial for the company to power its upcoming chipset with seamless processing efficiency as a means to all ends.

Qualcomm Inc. currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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