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Qualcomm promises 'console quality gaming' from next-gen Snapdragon

Details of Qualcomm's next generation Snapdragon processor have leaked, with claims that it will be 5x faster than previous versions and deliver "console quality gaming".

The processor war for smart phones and tablets shows no sign of waning -- in fact, it's intensifying. Leaked documents have given some appetite-whetting information on Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon processor, which looks set to amp up gaming and video playback while providing much-needed battery life savings.

The documents focus on the MSM8270, MSM8930 and MSM8960 processors, as well as the APQ8064. Electronista has published the relevant presentation slides, suggesting that the chips will make their way into devices sometime in 2012.

So what can we expect? The new Snapdragon family will be available in Single, Dual and Quad versions with up to 2.5GHz per core, which Qualcomm says will deliver "5x performance" on previous Snapdragon processors. Just as importantly, though, it says the processors will require 75 per cent less power to operate.

The chipsets will support full 1080p video playback on tablets and "large display devices", while also offering stereoscopic 3D capture and playback, 7.1 Dolby surround sound, and support for whopping 20-megapixel cameras. They'll also sport what Qualcomm describes as a "next-gen Adreno GPU" with 4x performance and "console quality gaming".

That's an annoyingly vague phrase, of course. We'd happily argue that current-generation iPad games such as Infinity Blade and the newly released Order & Chaos Online are console-quality in their graphical performance and depth. And in any case, what consoles are we talking about? The Sega Master System was a console after all, although you can assume Qualcomm is referring to PS3 and Xbox 360 quality gaming.

In separate news, Qualcomm says its augmented reality platform for Android has come out of beta. The company wants developers to use its AR tech for their apps in a range of areas, and cites the example of a game called Mavs AR, which lets fans of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team point their Android phones at their match ticket to play a virtual basketball game.