Qualcomm wants its chips in ultraportable notebooks

By on January 10, 2012, 6:30 PM

As Intel tries to enter the smartphone space with its Medfield Atom SoCs, Qualcomm will reportedly attempt to capture some of x86's territory. Currently in over 300 devices and shipping soon in about 350 more, Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets have long seized their slice of the handset and tablet business. However, with Windows 8's support for ARM architectures, the mobile firm has its crosshairs on ultraportable notebooks -- a segment dominated by Intel, especially now with its Ultrabook initiative.

We haven't seen any names mentioned, but Qualcomm is talking with PC makers about building compact notebooks based on its Snapdragon S4 chips, which are expected to ship in devices later this year. The new chips will come in single, dual and quad-core variants running between 1.5GHz and 2.5GHz. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs showed a Windows 8 tablet powered by his company's chips at CES, but we haven't seen any reports of early S4-based notebook prototypes displayed at the event.

Forbes chats with Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs

Interestingly, the S4 is also scheduled to appear in various smart TVs, including Lenovo's 55-inch 240Hz IPS K91 HDTV. The television uses Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to deliver entertainment apps, lets you use your Android smartphone or tablet as a remote, and an integrated 5MP webcam uses ICS' Face Unlock feature to provide easy parental controls. There's plenty of potential for casual gaming between ICS, Qualcomm's speedy SoC and the ability to purchase a gaming controller accessory.

Along with announcing its plans to invade the notebook market, Qualcomm introduced its first chips supporting Wi-Fi Display, a standard that lets devices such as TVs, tablets and smartphones connect directly to share media. In that same vein, Qualcomm also unveiled its Skifta Media Shifting Platform for streaming content across various DLNA-complaint devices. For instance, you can shift pictures from your PC to your TV or remotely stream music from your home network to your Android smartphone.

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