Future Windows Phone specifications announced

Microsoft has finally announced its new set of Windows Phone hardware specifications at the MIX11 conference today.

According to Mobile Tech World Microsoft engineer Istvan Cseri set out the new set of hardware specs for future Windows Phone devices during one of the conference speeches. The new specification details include news that a new Gyro sensor will be built into the hardware, although this feature will be optional and up to OEMs to decide whether they make use of it or not.

Microsoft also stated that they have been working on support for Qualcomm's brand new system-on-a-chip MSM7X30 chipset, which runs at 800MHz while running an improved Adreno 205 GPU. The company also now support Qualcomm's faster second generation MSM8X55 running at 1GHz, which also contains the much more powerful Adreno 205 GPU, which is already available on some new Android based handsets.

Microsoft has also decided to drop the specification for HVGA chassis, leaving only support for WVGA as the screen resolution.

Yesterday at MIX11, Microsoft showed off the next big software update for Windows Phone OS 7, dubbed ‘Mango”. The update will bring a number of bug fixes, features, stability improvements and overall a better user-friendly experience.

Image Source: Engadget

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GP007 said,
I was expecting a lower end 800Mhz spec, good to see it came true. With the mango performance updates plus the faster GPU on the chipset the difference between current 1Ghz WP and any future lower end 800Mhz ones will probably be hard to notice.

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

Kushan said,

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

Hmm maybe on a operation per clock comparison, the big thing is the faster GPU though. Either way it's fine and will help push the price down and boost WP7 sales.

Kushan said,

That 800Mhz CPU is actually faster than the 1Ghz found on today's phones.

That is most definitely not true. A 1GHz second gen snapdragon has the exact same performance of a 1GHz first gen. It's just built using a smaller manufacturing process and uses a little bit less energy.

The benchmarks that showed a second gen 800MHz chip beat a first gen 1GHz chip are affected by more than just processing power. So improvements in RAM, ROM and GPU were the reason it scored better than the first.

MS Pandya said,
This isn't a future specification, or a new chassis spec. This is the new minimum specification for current devices. A couple of things worth mentioning:

The 'original' WP7 minimum hardware spec was also 256MB of RAM. Every single device released has had 512MB of RAM. The only device using 256MB of RAM is the Samsung Taylor phone, which was never released and only used as a developer device.

'The company also now support Qualcomm's faster second generation MSM8X55 running at 1GHz'. FYI this isn't support for a specific processor, but the MSM8x55 line, which includes the MSM8255, MSM8655, MSM8255T, and MSM8655T. The 8655 parts support GSM & CDMA radios on a single SoC, and the T parts run at 1.4GHz. So while the spec is flexible from an 800MHz MSM7230 with 256MB of RAM, it also allows for a 1.4GHz MSM8255T with 1GB RAM.

As for 256MB RAM - the Taylor developer phones have never had memory shortage problems, and furthermore, in Mango, due to efficiency and performance enhancements, apps use 30% less RAM.

Ya, all they did was make them a bit more flexible toward the lower end with support for 800Mhz speeds to drop prices even lower. Still, we could use a higher end chasis 2 spec at some point, with a higher res screen like some bring up.

GP007 said,

Ya, all they did was make them a bit more flexible toward the lower end with support for 800Mhz speeds to drop prices even lower. Still, we could use a higher end chasis 2 spec at some point, with a higher res screen like some bring up.

WP7 isn't really CPU limited because of its hardware acceleration throughout the OS using the GPU (in contrast to Android, for example), so the 800MHz part doesn't really hurt the day-to-day running of the OS, or gaming, as the more powerful Adreno 205 part will pick up the slack where it matters.

Chassis 2 was always meant to be a lower end spec, lower than this, with a BlackBerry esque form factor and HVGA resolution display. It's my understanding that the original Chassis 2 spec has been dropped, and you won't see it happen, and instead, the Chassis 1 spec has been extended 'down' a bit with the MSM7x30 part supported.

This update to the Chassis 1 spec still allows for some pretty beastly phones (1.4GHz & 1GB RAM), and I'd like to see more diffentiation by inclusion of 32GB+ of NAND flash on devices. I also recall seeing a qHD WP7 device on a Dell roadmap (although roadmaps are one of the easiest things to fake). It will be interesting to see how things pan out, we may see a 'superphone' spec along the lines of the current HTC Sensation.

MS Pandya said,

WP7 isn't really CPU limited because of its hardware acceleration throughout the OS using the GPU (in contrast to Android, for example), so the 800MHz part doesn't really hurt the day-to-day running of the OS, or gaming, as the more powerful Adreno 205 part will pick up the slack where it matters.

Chassis 2 was always meant to be a lower end spec, lower than this, with a BlackBerry esque form factor and HVGA resolution display. It's my understanding that the original Chassis 2 spec has been dropped, and you won't see it happen, and instead, the Chassis 1 spec has been extended 'down' a bit with the MSM7x30 part supported.

This update to the Chassis 1 spec still allows for some pretty beastly phones (1.4GHz & 1GB RAM), and I'd like to see more diffentiation by inclusion of 32GB+ of NAND flash on devices. I also recall seeing a qHD WP7 device on a Dell roadmap (although roadmaps are one of the easiest things to fake). It will be interesting to see how things pan out, we may see a 'superphone' spec along the lines of the current HTC Sensation.

I agree fully, it's about time we see some new phones with a 1.2-1.4Ghz CPU and 1GB ram and or 32GB of storage. Maybe Nokia will be the first or maybe HTC, have to wait till the fall and the Mango round of devices.

MS Pandya said,
The 'original' WP7 minimum hardware spec was also 256MB of RAM. Every single device released has had 512MB of RAM. The only device using 256MB of RAM is the Samsung Taylor phone, which was never released and only used as a developer device.

That's not true. the LG-c900b, of which i am an owner, has only 256mb of ram.

gxsaurav said,
@ms Pandya Qualcomm MSM7230 is what ARM core?

MSM7230 is an 800MHz ARMv7 part with an Adreno 205 GPU on the 45nm process.

To clarify, it's designed off the ARMv7 instruction set, but is significantly faster at multimedia related operations, similar to Cortex A8. There's more information about the Snapdragon SoC lineup on QC's website (http://www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon/specs)

Ok, so I found that it is basically a Cortex A8 CPU running at 800 MHz with ARM Neon.

Sounds nice on paper. I am really waiting for Nokia W8 now.

I m sure Microsoft will use dual core processors as soon as they start developings apps to use it, people forget that an idle core still uses power and that almost all apps are only designed to be used for one core, however with multitasking it will be interesting to see how the operating sytem will distribute the work between the cores. Maybe in the future, but as of right now they need to design the software to use the power from the battery as efficiently as possible, it matters a lot in my opinion of mobile phones and I m glad microsoft is putting this into the equation as well. Hopefully battery technology improves by leaps and strides soon, but its just wishful thinking.

carson2255 said,
I m sure Microsoft will use dual core processors as soon as they start developings apps to use it, people forget that an idle core still uses power and that almost all apps are only designed to be used for one core, however with multitasking it will be interesting to see how the operating sytem will distribute the work between the cores. Maybe in the future, but as of right now they need to design the software to use the power from the battery as efficiently as possible, it matters a lot in my opinion of mobile phones and I m glad microsoft is putting this into the equation as well. Hopefully battery technology improves by leaps and strides soon, but its just wishful thinking.

FYI, on desktop processors such as the Core 2010/2011 series, they include something called Core Parking, whereby inactive cores can be powered down. Core Parking and Turbo Mode were introduced because of the prevalence of devices not designed for SMT processors.

On mobile SoC like the Snapdragon, the functionality is split into lots of seperate cores. The 'Application Processing Core' is the the one most analogous to a desktop processor and does the general heavy lifting. In multicore designs, these APs can usually be shut down independently. Additionally, stuff like audio processing, video decoders, bluetooth, security chips are all seperate, and can (and are) powered down when not in use to maximise battery life.

Marvell have an Armada ARM SoC design that in addition to including seperate chips for each function as per normal, includes two (or four) fast Cortex A9 cores, and a single, far slower ARMv7 core. The idea is that in standby with minimal services running, devices can use the low power ARMv7 core, and the extra high power cores can be used in general use as needed.

You're right about effective use of multiple cores being the main limitation though!

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

There's a Dell WP7 device codenamed Wrigley slated for a Q3 release around July-August, if my roadmap is accurate. I'm sure other OEMs are also working on devices against this new minimum spec. They've likely had it for a while.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

Yeah, like maybe something for Verizon... All I can say is there phones had better be awesome.

.Neo said,
Would be nice if they actually released some new phones...

sales are poor, htc is talking about ditching it altogether. I think they're waiting to see how it goes it.

sweatshopking said,

sales are poor, htc is talking about ditching it altogether. I think they're waiting to see how it goes it.

No they're not. ATT just lined up the HD7s with a large order commitment. HtC isn't walking away from WP7

MS Pandya said,

There's a Dell WP7 device codenamed Wrigley slated for a Q3 release around July-August, if my roadmap is accurate. I'm sure other OEMs are also working on devices against this new minimum spec. They've likely had it for a while.


I've never seen a DELL phone on sale here in the Netherlands. The current WP7 phones being sold here are nothing special really and don't even support Dutch.

It's amazing how a company like Microsoft is still able to **** up a product launch like this.

@MS Pandya

Any ideas which carriers are going to get these new phones? AT&T and T mobile has carried many, but I am more interested in another phone for sprint.

So I finally got some questions answered.

The first generation WP7 devices uses QSD8X50 because WP7 only supported Adreno 200. Microsoft manage to sneak the GPU driver for Adreno 205 into NoDo which allows the MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 to be use.

Newer Snapdragon uses Adreno 220 which the current driver doesn't support and will actually cause a drop in performance. This driver may be added in Mango

Windows Phone 7 is based on a pre-release version of Windows CE 7 which does support dual-core, but is not optimize for it yet.

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