Ask Me Anything - Official Qualcomm Representatives

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jpishgar

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Tom's Hardware Ask Me Anything - Qualcomm
Ever wanted to ask one of the big hardware or software giants something directly? Why’d they do that? Where’d the idea come from for that last product? What’s in store next? Well, now you have the chance!

Tom’s Hardware is proud to announce the third of our brand new community features – ASK ME ANYTHING.

On Wednesday, July 17th, we’ll be hosting the third of a series of Tom’s Hardware Ask Me Anythings, and our guests will be official representatives from Qualcomm!

This thread will be unlocked, open and live for 24 hours starting at 12:00 noon eastern on July 17th, and questions will be moderated and supervised by Tom’s Community Manager, Joe Pishgar, and a full team of Senior Moderators.

Ask Me Anything Rules
• No tech support questions, as these require in-depth personal follow-up and diagnostics.
• All Rules of Conduct apply.
• Keep questions direct and to the point.
• Avoid opinion bias - ie: "Why are all your products awesome/bad/smelly?"
• Be respectful of our guests, no insults, no leading questions.
• Do not post duplicate questions, or repost your question multiple times.
• Not all questions may be answered. Questions may not be answered in the order in which they are received or posted.

Only registered users will be able to ask questions, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register now for your chance to participate!

The official representatives will reply periodically over the time the AMA is active using a recognized and verified account.

Please join us on this date to throw your questions into the mix and ask Qualcomm what you've always wanted to ask.

What: Ask Me Anything – Qualcomm
When: Wednesday, July 17th, 12:00 p.m. Noon EDT
Where: This thread itself!
Who: Dan Novak, Vice President of Global Marketing, PR & Communications, Michelle Leyden Li, Senior Director of Marketing, Peter Carson, Senior Director of Marketing.

Our Guests from Qualcomm are-

Name: Peter Carson
Username:
Title: Senior Director of Marketing
Bio: Peter Carson is senior director of marketing and leads the modem marketing efforts for Qualcomm Incorporated. Earlier, Peter led the cellular technology product management team, with line management responsibility for the 3G/LTE modem roadmap, infrastructure chips and network vendor relationships, including interoperability testing programs.

Name: Michelle Leyden Li
Username:
Title: Senior Director of Marketing
Bio: Michelle Leyden Li is senior director of marketing for Qualcomm Incorporated. She oversees integrated marketing for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Processors which are powering a new generation of advanced smartphones, tablets and other smart devices, so users can do more and recharge less.

Name: Dan Novak
Username:
Title: Vice President of Global Marketing, PR & Communications
Bio: Dan Novak is vice president of global marketing, PR and communications for Qualcomm Incorporated. Dan is responsible for developing Qualcomm’s overarching brand strategy and leading worldwide public relations.

This thread is now open and the AMA has begun!
 
Why do you advertise Snapdragon to consumers? It's not like we can replace our phone's current SoC :) You believe people will base a purchase decision on the brand of SoC it uses?

Also, you should tell your web devs to not use low-quality .jpegs in their Flash body background advertising (e.g. Tom's homepage). They look really fluffy - you need lossless compression (looks pretty unprofessional as it is currently). The low-quality .jpegs aren't helping load speed anyway - I'd suggest not using Flash.
 

jpishgar

Splendid
Overlord Emeritus
I'll be relaying some of the questions coming through on Facebook and Twitter. Here's a good one:

Intel put out a press release last month about an Atom Z2580 outperforming several ARM-based competitors while using less power. As an incumbent in this space, what was Qualcomm’s reaction based on the metrics and methodology used?
 

Marco Mitic

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Are you planning or working on 64bit processors in your Snapdragon lineup? What's your multicore policy - are more cores better than less and how does that affects battery life? Are more cores viable in mobile devices or are you focusing on single threaded performance increase?
 

Dan Novak

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People are getting smarter about their technologies and we want to help them when they're making a decision about what to buy. Consumers can have an enhanced user experience by paying attention to the processor in their mobile device – this controls the performance and quality of the content users enjoy. Choosing a smartphone or tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor when they're ready to get a new phone ensures the device will deliver the best mobile computing experience without comprising battery life.
 

jpishgar

Splendid
Overlord Emeritus
A few more incoming from Facebook and Twitter:

When will we see the first Snapdragon 800-based devices?

There’s so much focus right now on the processor performance of mobile SoCs. What other components does Qualcomm believe deserve more attention?
 

8350rocks

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First off, I would like to say you guys make some incredible products for mobile devices. (As Alumni from USC, I am a big fan of Qualcomm)

Second, I am curious, how far do you envision tablets and other portable devices going in terms of gaming performance and comparable productivity features to notebook PCs? Do you envision features such as an office client port from Linux, or other productivity software? Obviously, some things would simply lack the resources to do effectively (i.e. encoding video and heavy rendering), however, some things would be great features to have that would allow cross compatability with a PC platform of one type or another.

Last, are you guys anticipating the Ubuntu phone OS launch coming soon? If so, what differences do you foresee in having a tablet/phone OS that corresponds directly with PC?
 

ojas

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Intel uses some form of ARM-to-x86 binary translation (forgot the specifics) to support most Android apps out-of the box, does Qualcomm have similar plans to support Windows x86 applications on its hardware?
 

acktionhank

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I'm curious about this rise of ARM processors in non-traditional laptops such as Google's Chromebooks. Do you believe this push to a laptop form factor is being lead by the various ARM chip manufacturers, or instead Google has simply found a low-cost power efficient chip that suites the needs of their platform. That being said, when is Qualcomm planning to bring an x86 chip to market?

My next question pertains to the pressure that I'm sure the whole mobile market must be feeling from Intel. Especially as they begin to increase their presence in mobile devices. Do you believe that Qualcomm will simply be able to increase performance and power efficiency to the level necessary to keep Intel sidelined in the mobile market? Will Qualcomm and other ARM companies expand to new segments, or are you intently focused on mobile? If not will the mobile market simply have another large share holder, or will Intel come and clean house much like in the desktop/laptop computing segments where it enjoys anywhere between 80-85% of market share.

Thank you for the AMA,
Daniel
 

ojas

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Huh? Those were dual-core Silvermont benchmarks...
 

Michelle Leyden Li

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The first Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 device has already launched in korea with Samsung. You will start to see more Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 devices this summer. LG and Sony have recently announced devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors, so keep an eye out for those.


Of the mobile SOCs, the CPU accounts for about 15%. Unlike some of our competitors who focus on a single technology component, Qualcomm leads across all key technology components: CPU, GPU, DSP, Modem, Audio, Video, etc. This complete approach is required to deliver the performance consumers expect within the tight design challenges of a mobile device.

All these components of the processor are also driving user experiences such as 4k UHD, 7.1 surround sound, dual image signal processors. A key component is the integrated modem - the world's first that supports LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation, which improves LTE user experience with up to a doubling of data speeds.
 
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In regards to 3D hardware acceleration, where do you see Qualcomm concentrating their efforts? Will the push continue to concentrate mostly on efficiency/performance-per-watt, or do you foresee resources being dedicated at least in part to a more game-centric SoC that puts raw performance over efficiency/battery life?
 

Michelle Leyden Li

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While we've not announced any specific plans for desktop CPUs, we've launched a Windows RT tablet based on our Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and have announced support for Windows RT in our latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors.
 

acktionhank

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I've heard that was a licensing issue with google.
 

jpishgar

Splendid
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A couple more coming down the pike from FB/Twitter:

The issue with AnTuTu seemed to be a lack of attention to the x86 ISA. At the same time, Qualcomm has its Vellamo benchmark suite. What work went into that test to ensure Intel’s architecture is evaluated fairly, and that Qualcomm isn’t favored automatically?

How interconnected are Qualcomm SoC design teams and your OEM partners? For example, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors are standard for Windows Phone 8. How much involvement did Microsoft have in the development of the S4?
 

hotice

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Mar 22, 2013
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My understanding is that Qualcomm quad-core processors can operate on any number of cores. If that's correct and they can operate on a single core to save power when that core is sufficient for the current does that mean your quad-core processors actually require less power, at minimum than your dual core processors? Asked another way, does your dual-core S4 Plus in the GS3 for Razr HD actually have a higher minimum power usage than your S4 Pro, Snapdragon 600, or Snapdragon 800? I'm wondering because that means a newer phone with your quad-core processor has the potential to get better battery life with the same size battery. Of course that doesn't take into consideration other factors but we'll assume the same screen and other things which I realize is unlikely.
 

scook9

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The S4 Pro Quad SoC was very exciting when it was announced. It then took forever to actually get into the market in devices and only made it into a small handful of devices before being obsoleted by the new Snapdragon 600 parts. Are we going to see better OEM adoption of your parts this round - or was this an issue of Qualcomm getting parts out the door for OEMs to use in their designs? The 8960 pretty much dominated the US market for 2012 while the APQ8064 was only in a few US handsets (3 really - Nexus 4, Droid DNA, Optimus G). Should we expect to see 8960 levels of adoption for Snapdragon 600 while Snapdragon 800 is quickly replaced by the time it is shipping in any meaningful volume in devices?
 

Michelle Leyden Li

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We differ from other competitor chips in that we offer a comprehensive solution (AP, modem, connectivity, RF, PMIC, etc), our own GPU design with modern API support, our own CPU designs based on a balance of high performance and ultra low power, modem maturity (performance, multimode integration (7 modes), RF and connectivity integration), and significant performance per mW advantage. We always look at both vectors (performance and power) with regards to any of our IP blocks.
 
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