Qualcomm quietly cans Smart TV-inspired Snapdragon 802 SoC

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Qualcomm headed to CES last month with big plans for the Smart TV / set-top box / digital media adapter market. The semiconductor specialist announced a new SoC in early January known as the Snapdragon 802 specializing in Ultra HD resolution and concurrent multi-streams, among other capabilities.

Sampling was expected to take place early this year with the chip arriving in commercial devices by late 2014 but that’s no longer the case as Qualcomm has quietly canned the project.

In a short press release on the matter, the company said they’ve decided not to commercialize the Snapdragon 802 processor because the overall demand for chips uniquely designed for Smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated. Jon Carvill, senior director of public relations for Qualcomm, said the decision is specific to the 802 SoC and does not affect other products currently shipping in the same segment.

As the name suggests, the 802 would have been a close relative to existing Snapdragon 800 and 805 chips used to power many of today’s most popular smartphones and tablets. Based on the Krait architecture, the chip was to consist of four cores operating at 1.8GHz alongside an Adreno 330 GPU with 4K video support and built-in 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.

Similarities to current models may have been the 802’s undoing, however, as it’s likely that either of the two aforementioned chips could perform just as well inside a Smart TV given only minor tweaks. Of course, one could just as easily take this for face value and say that there simply isn’t enough demand for Smart TVs and other media boxes at this point.

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