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Toshiba handheld hits 1GHz with 'Snapdragon'

The Toshiba TG01 is the first high-profile gadget to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, ushering in the age of the 1GHz smartphone.

Has the era of the 1GHz smartphone arrived? It has for Toshiba, which has tapped Qualcomm's new Snapdragon silicon.

Toshiba smartphone uses 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
Toshiba smartphone uses a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The Toshiba TG01 Windows Mobile phone was unveiled Tuesday, according to reports. Based on Windows Mobile 6.1, it is designed to take on the iPhone 3G.

Only 9.9mm thick, it uses a 4.1-inch WVGA 800 x 480 384k pixel resistive touch screen and comes with support for 3G HSPA, Wi-Fi, GPS and assisted-GPS.

The TG01 is slated to be available in Europe this summer. The price, at this time, has not been disclosed. (Acer and Asus are also expected to bring out Snapdragon-based products.)

The Qualcomm silicon supports high-definition (720p) video decode, 3D graphics (up to 22M triangles/sec), XGA display support, a 12-megapixel camera, and mobile broadcast TV.

Qualcomm has been talking up the Snapdragon (aka QSD8250) since November 2007 when the company announced initial shipments of the chipset. (Let's be clear: the chip was on the brink of falling into the vaporware category.)

The chip's claim to fame is that it's an ARM design that runs at 1GHz. Typical ARM architecture chips used in mobile phones peak at about 500MHz.

And Qualcomm won't stop at 1GHz. The San Diego, Calif.-based company will eventually push Snapdragon to 1.5GHz, according to Manjit Gill, director of product management, Connected and Consumer Products Group, in a recent interview with Nanotech: The Circuits Blog.

Speaking about the company's plans, he said. "There was a need to go do something beyond this. So, we went and got the architecture license (from ARM) and we have this team of about 50 CPU designers and we put them to task. So, four years...later, we have a CPU that actually works better than the (typical) ARM CPU."

The future Qualcomm QSD8672 will be a dual-core Snapdragon that features two CPU computing cores capable of 1.5GHz performance, and will include HSPA+, up to 28Mbps download speeds, 1080p high-definition video, Wi-Fi, mobile TV, and GPS. The graphics core is based on Advanced Micro Devices' ATI unit's technology.