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Qualcomm's mobile development platform offers a look into the future of tablets

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Qualcomm's just revealed new additions to its Snapdragon processor line, and also took the wraps off a tablet geared towards developers that has specs far beyond anything currently on the market.

Qualcomm Liquid mobile development platform (engadget)
Qualcomm Liquid mobile development platform (engadget)

Qualcomm's just announced the expansion of its line of Snapdragon processors, and it also introduced a mobile development platform that gives a look at the future of tablets. For starters, Qualcomm's launching eight new additions to its S4 chipset, which include its Krait CPU micro-architecture for speeds up to 2.5GHz per core and significantly lowered power consumption. The S4 is offered in single, dual, and quad-core configurations, runs the Adreno GPU, and offers integrated 3G and LTE on one chip. Qualcomm also updated its S1 line of processors, which it is focusing on entry-level smartphone users who haven't upgraded to 3G yet.

The S4 took center stage, though, when Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon S4 Liquid Mobile Development Platform (MDP). The Liquid S4 is a Gingerbread tablet (which will also support Ice Cream Sandwich and eventually Windows 8) that contains specs that far outclass any tablet on the market, including a dual-core MSM8960 S4 processor, 2GB RAM and 32 GB storage. Other specs include a 10.1-inch display running a 1366 x 768 resolution, seven microphones, virtual surround sound through the stereo speakers, and four cameras. On the back is a 13-megapixel shooter, with a 2-mexapixel camera up front — both are capable of shooting 1080p video. There are also two more cameras on the back, specifically paired for shooting 3D video.

Qualcomm didn't skimp on sensors, either: the MDP contains dual 3D accelerometers, a gyroscope, compass, ambient light, proximity, temperature, and pressure sensors, as well as a fingerprint reader. Last, but not least is a similarly overwhelming array of ports: micro-USB, 3.5mm audio, microSD, SIM, and a docking station connector; the docking station adds two USB ports, HDMI, and Ethernet, among others. Engadget had a chance to play with this tablet last night and has video of Qualcomm's VP of Product management, Raj Talluri, showing it off.

While this device inclues far more than the average user might need, it does provide an interesting glimpse into what tablets may be running a year from now, and it'll also allow developers to make apps to take advantage of the coming technology. Qualcomm says this tablet will be available in the first half of 2012, so get ready to start making the Android app of your dreams.