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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 Pro SoC

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Qualcomm is introducing a new pro version of its Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC, which offers drastically improved graphics over its predecessors.

Qualcomm logo (1020)
Qualcomm logo (1020)

We'd already heard that Qualcomm's S4 platform would reach consumer devices at MWC, but now the company has announced a new Pro version of its Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC. The biggest leap is an upgrade of the integrated GPU to Qualcomm's Adreno 320 platform, which the company says offers four times the graphical capabilities of previous chips. As well as being able to power higher resolution displays, the Adreno 320 also "fully supports" a number of game development engines including Epic and Unity, and offers dedicated hardware for Windows graphics acceleration — a key feature for Windows 8 on ARM.

Alongside these graphically-intensive applications Qualcomm is also adding support for APIs like OpenCL, which it says will allow manufacturers to incude new technology like light-field cameras (like the Lytro) in their devices. The company is aiming the new SoC directly at tablets and notebooks, and expects products with the new chips to reach consumers during the second half of this year.