New Qualcomm processor optimized for Windows 8

Today, Qualcomm announced a new version of its ARM-based Snapdragon processor that it claims has been made to run well on Windows 8.

Qualcomm's press release today announced it will launch a Pro version of its Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor. It will feature the Adreno 320 GPU, which Qualcomm claims is four time more powerful than the previous version. It also supports dedicated hardware for accelerated Windows support as well as for running high end game graphics engines such as Unity 3D, Unreal Engine and more.

Qualcomm says the Pro version of the Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor "is optimized for the most advanced operating systems, including the highly anticipated Windows 8 system." Luis Pineda, Qualcomm's senior vice president of computing and consumer products, adds, "We are excited about the Snapdragon S4 Pro processors’ potential for consumers, and about the upcoming Windows 8 platform.”

The Pro version of the Snapdragon processor is expected to be launched in the second half of 2012, which is about when Microsoft plans to launch the commercial version of both the x86 and ARM ports of Windows 8.

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This is good for Qualcomm; as, there is becoming a push in the higher end ARM technologies.

It is kind of exciting to see a lot more focus on better graphics, memory performance and threading happening in this class.

The only consumer level interest in this class of computing has been stunted by Android's limitations.

I haven't seen a consumer level of thirst for low power high performance since the first Tegra and other technologies around that time were upcoming, and died out with a few devices like the ZuneHD.

As the iPhone took over popularity, people were excited at first for Android, but it couldn't pass on the performance these newer technologies were on track to offering consumers.

I remember some of the first camera augmented reality games demonstrated by TI and NVidia a long time ago, yet today, even on the fastest Android, they are still not viable.

WP7 didn't help with the hard isolated device access security model and the baseline target of the 1ghz Snapdragon, as this is what the OEMs built around, instead of building up from.

So here's looking forward to a new generation of this class of technology and Windows 8 being able to give the flexibility of hardware and software design to fully utilize it.

Regression_88 said,
Since when does a processor run "on" an operating system?
Other than the obvious emulated / virtual machine type that is.

Not when, but where!

In Soviet Russia...

GS:mac

The Pro version of the Snapdragon processor is expected to be launched in the second half of 2012, which is about when Microsoft plans to launch the commercial version of both the x86 and ARM ports of Windows.

Really?

What is this point of this.

Like netbooks started out 7-10" with Atom CPUs and eventually got laptop sized with laptop CPUs.

Eventually phone CPUs are going to get bigger, power intensive and generate loads of heat like PC cpus.

TheLegendOfMart said,
What is this point of this.
Like netbooks started out 7-10" with Atom CPUs and eventually got laptop sized with laptop CPUs.
Eventually phone CPUs are going to get bigger, power intensive and generate loads of heat like PC cpus.

And then real men will be those wearing calculator wristwatches. Those things will come back, you just watch!

TheLegendOfMart said,
What is this point of this.

Like netbooks started out 7-10" with Atom CPUs and eventually got laptop sized with laptop CPUs.


Eventually phone CPUs are going to get bigger, power intensive and generate loads of heat like PC cpus.

I'd imagine that Windows 8 is a little more heavier than Android or WP7. Microsoft never said any thing about it wanting to run on current ARM mobile processors, but they wanted to get on the ARM bandwagon which is more efficient at super lower power uses. A Tablet/Netbook/Laptop based ARM computer will have a bigger battery so why not a bigger CPU?

Tony. said,

I'd imagine that Windows 8 is a little more heavier than Android or WP7. Microsoft never said any thing about it wanting to run on current ARM mobile processors, but they wanted to get on the ARM bandwagon which is more efficient at super lower power uses. A Tablet/Netbook/Laptop based ARM computer will have a bigger battery so why not a bigger CPU?

Heavier than WP7, not heavier than Android, sadly...

The difference with WP7 is the very light WinCE kernel and using the .NET Silverlight OS platform for Apps. This is a lot less layers than NT.

However, Win95 was far lighter than NT, but with 32mb of RAM, NT 4.0 was 25% faster than Win95. So when you hit a certain performance and RAM threshold, the 'overhead' of more complex kernel and OS model tends to disappear.

Microsoft can probably get near WP7 performance out of a full Win8 NT system if not at least the NT kernel with the WP7 .NET Silverlight platform, without the other aspects of NT being used. NT is horizontally and vertically layered, meaning it can break down rather well in several ways.

As for Android, it is already trying to 'bypass' the complexity of the Linux kernel, but in doing so introduces other issues that the Dalvik engine then has to manage for Apps, and this is where it gets 'heavy' as the Dalvik JVM is just not good at doing memory and threading itself.


As for 'real world', Microsoft has been using WP7 phones for Windows 8 ARM development. Running the full desktop version of Windows 8 (NT for ARM) on 1ghz 512mb first generation Snapdragon devices. (There are videos and images of Win8 running the classic NT desktop on these phones in case you think this is hyperbole.)

So don't 'under' estimate NT or Microsoft here, the performance may surprise you.

___________________________________
Further side note...

Also remember the first demonstration of Windows 8 ARM over a year ago was on a ARM tablet, slower than the iPad 2. Yet, it was running not just Metro but the full 'glassy' Aero desktop.

It was also running full versions of Word and Excel 2010 that were recompiled for ARM as well as a Firefox ARM version. It was fluid and fast, and had the full desktop experience.

Which is something to think about when you use an iPad 2 or see a person using one and how freaking slow Numbers or Safari are in comparison.

The way NT was originally designed, it is highly conducive to squeezing performance out of any architecture.

Microsoft also knows low end device technology better than people seem to remember, as they have been working with WinCE class CPUs and SoC designs for over 15 years, including working directly with the hardware technologies.

The whole SoC industry is tied directly to Microsoft, as they have been the leading hardware innovators of SoC technologies that TI,NVidia,AMD,Intel, and IBM have been working from.

Microsoft hardware was the first to have a fast and effective high end desktop/server class SoC design beating AMD, IBM and Intel in the race for a specific level of speed, size, and functionality. Which in hardware engineering circles was a bit surprising and a big accomplishment. The Microsoft SoC technologies are now in use by AMD and Intel and are a part of future products.
**(If I remember right the first consumer product to ship using Microsoft's SoC architecture was the revised XBox 360 S.)

Microsoft freely made available and gave away the reference designs of how they achieved their SoC designs, as they always had with their ARM work, and GPU designs.

Windows 8 is the 'cornerstone' of the SoC technologies, bringing together Microsoft hardware reference designs and working with existing older SoC designs that already have some Microsoft hardware reference technologies, especially prediction technologies in CPU and complete GPU architectures that are used in virtually all devices today.
**(This is why it is ironic when Android and iPhone users bash Microsoft with generic statement of how worthless they are, and yet their Androids and iPhones are using hardware that is based on hardware that is either directly built from Microsoft hardware designs or Microsoft reference designs.)

efjay said,
Possible this will apper in WP8 phones if they share the same kernel as rumoured?
Hopefully. I've been having some good experiences so far with various Snapdragon processors.

efjay said,
Possible this will apper in WP8 phones if they share the same kernel as rumoured?

And could appear even if WP8 keeps the WinCE kernel. Building the OAL for WinCE would not be very hard, especially with a reference NT HAL to work from.

Microsoft wants to get to NT for WP8, but they want to ensure it can meet the WinCE performance, which has a lot less overhead and is a pure device designed kernel.

The pieces of WP, like DirectX and .NET (Silverlight OS Platform) are the important pieces, as they can sit on either kernel without the user noticing.

The whole way Windows and WP7 is designed is the embodiment of true portability as it targets this at the two fundamental levels. The kernel/OS model being easily portable with high performance and the upper layer application model using the .NET framework that is also independent of hardware specific binaries.

Contrasting to other portability concepts...
(JAVA was a 'one' layer approach, and OSes like Linux are also a 'one' layer approach. Linux is also a really poor example of an inherently portable OS model design. It is OSS and portable, but the OS model was not designed for portability like NT was. So in porting Linux, it takes a bit of work to compensate for the hardware, and often this is left to generic translation drivers and compensations instead of revising the code for the best performance.)