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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 802 for Ultra HD

The company's chip will allow TV makers, as well as those making set-top boxes and digital media adapters, to deliver all kinds of features to those devices.

Jason Jenkins/CNET

Qualcomm might have an important stake in the mobile space with its Snapdragon processors, but it's focusing at least some of its time on Ultra HD and in-car "infotainment" going forward.

The company on Monday announced the Snapdragon 802 processor, a system-on-a-chip offering designed for smart TVs, smart set-top boxes, and smart digital media adapters that support the next-generation high-definition resolution, Ultra HD.

According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 802 is not only capable of pumping out Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 or 4,096 x 2,160), it can run user interfaces simultaneously and provide "console-quality gaming" separately. Qualcomm says that the chip will allow device owners to play a game while video conferencing or search the Web while watching a streaming movie. The chip can play back four HD videos at the same time on the same television.

The Snapdragon 802 comes with a quad-core Krait 1.8GHz CPU and the Adreno 330 GPU. It can "upconvert" 1080P video to near-Ultra-HD resolution.

The Snapdragon 802 will be offered to device makers early this year to sample its functionality and decide if it's right for their products. Qualcomm hopes to have the product in devices and in homes by late 2014.

In addition to taking on Ultra HD, Qualcomm said on Monday that it will deploy the new Snapdragon 602A processor for in-car infotainment systems. The processor supports several operating systems and can deliver better apps and navigation service, Qualcomm claims. The chip also supports voice recognition and the use of multiple HD displays.

Like the Snapdragon 802, the Snapdragon 602A is running a quad-core CPU. It also includes the Adreno 320 GPU.

Qualcomm hopes to start sampling its in-car technology in the first quarter. It's not clear when it might find its way to cars.