Recently we alerted you that Qualcomm was invited to sit on the hot seat at Tom's Hardware for their third session of Ask Me Anything—an open forum designed to allow tech enthusiasts and the curious to ask featured companies anything they want.
We sent over a trio of executives/SMEs—Vice President of Global Marketing, Dan Novak and Senior Directors of Marketing Peter Carson and Michelle Leyden Li—to answer your questions. Go to Tom’s special AMA forum to see how the session rolled out.
We were impressed with the knowledge that Tom’s Hardware fans brought to the forum and we have to say, the opportunity to engage with them was enjoyable. Following are just a few of your most inquisitive queries and our answers:
Q. Why do you advertise Snapdragon to consumers? It's not like we can replace our phone's current SoC :-) You believe people will base a purchase decision on the brand of SoC it uses?
A. People are getting smarter about their technologies and we want to help them when they're making a decision about what to buy. Consumers can have an enhanced user experience by paying attention to the processor in their mobile device—this controls the performance and quality of the content users enjoy. Choosing a smartphone or tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor when they're ready to get a new phone ensures the device will deliver the best mobile computing experience without comprising battery life.
Q. There’s so much focus right now on the processor performance of mobile SoCs. What other components does Qualcomm believe deserve more attention?
A. Of the mobile SOCs, the CPU accounts for about 15%. Unlike some of our competitors who focus on a single technology component, Qualcomm leads across all key technology components: CPU, GPU, DSP, Modem, Audio, Video, etc. This complete approach is required to deliver the performance consumers expect within the tight design challenges of a mobile device. All these components of the processor are also driving user experiences such as 4k UHD, 7.1 surround sound, dual image signal processors. A key component is the integrated modem—the world's first that supports LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation, which improves LTE user experience with up to a doubling of data speeds.
Q. In regards to 3D hardware acceleration, where do you see Qualcomm concentrating their efforts? Will the push continue to concentrate mostly on efficiency/performance-per-watt, or do you foresee resources being dedicated at least in part to a more game-centric SoC that puts raw performance over efficiency/battery life?
A. We differ from other competitor chips in that we offer a comprehensive solution (AP, modem, connectivity, RF, PMIC, etc.), our own GPU design with modern API support, our own CPU designs based on a balance of high performance and ultra-low power, modem maturity (performance, multimode integration (7 modes), RF and connectivity integration), and significant performance per mW advantage. We always look at both vectors (performance and power) with regards to any of our IP blocks.
Q. What does your new Krait 400 architecture bring to the table over designs like ARM's Cortex-A15 and Apple's Swift?
A. Our Krait 400 is our latest custom-built CPU architecture that can be clocked up to 2.3 GHz and fabricated on a 28nm Hpm process node. Our strategy encompasses the CPU but we also innovate on the other 80-85% of technology content that is critical to delivering great mobile experiences. Only Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. purpose builds our own GPUs, DSPs, multimode modems, connectivity and CPUs and integrates them into balanced, high-performance, low-power systems.
Thanks to all who participated. And special thanks to Tom’s Hardware!
Note: Snapdragon and Krait, as well as above-mentioned CPUs, GPUs, DSPs and Modems are products of Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and its subsidiaries.