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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 brings 64-bit, LTE to emerging markets

A new processor spearheads the chipmaker's 4G LTE ambitions in China.

Jason Jenkins/CNET

Smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm on Monday unveiled its latest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 410, adding 64-bit processing capabilities to its flagship chip line.

The Snapdragon 410 also fulfills Qualcomm's ambitions of packaging an integrated 4G LTE radio into smartphones destined for emerging markets that are building up their LTE infrastructure -- China, specifically.

Qualcomm provides applications processors that serve as the brains of electronics, and it leads the market for providing chips that allow mobile devices to connect to wireless networks. Its 4G LTE processors in particular have been gaining strong traction of late and are used in gadgets like the iPhone 5S. However, competition in 4G LTE is expected to increase as rival products hit the market from companies such as Intel.

With the Snapdragon 410, Qualcomm gets an edge in developing markets. It also becomes one of the first chipmakers to release a product that's 64-bit capable. Such chips enable faster apps that can juggle large amounts of data more efficiently. However, most mobile operating systems and apps don't currently support 64 bit.

Apple in September became the first companymaking ARM Holdings-based smartphone chips to use 64 bit. After that announcement, Qualcomm said it was working on 64 bit, but that it would release such chips when the ecosystem -- including the Android operating system -- was ready.

In addition to 64 bit and 4G LTE "World Mode," the Snapdragon 410 supports a 13-megapixel camera, 1080p HD video playback, and the Adreno 306 GPU. The chipset can power Android and Windows Phone operating systems.

The Snapdragon 410 is made with the same 28-nanometer, or billionths of a meter, process that Qualcomm uses on its fastest chips, including the Snapdragon 800 that powers smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and LG's Google Nexus 5.

Qualcomm says that phones running its Snapdragon 410 processors will sell for around the $150 mark or less, about 1,000 Chinese Renminbi. It expects devices with the chip to hit the market in the second half of 2014.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. PT with additional details.