Qualcomm plays down Tegra 3 threat

On Monday Pocket-lint brought you the news from MWC that Paul Otellini, Intel CEO and president, had dismissed the importance of cores in mobile phone CPUs.

A day later and it is Qualcomm's turn to dismiss the so-called mobile core-wars. Speaking at a Snapdragon press conference at MWC, Rob Chandhok, senior vice-president of software strategy for Qualcomm CDMA technologies, said that the new S4 dual-core chipset was able to out-perform its rivals' quad-core efforts across the board. He never mentioned the word "Nvidia" but he didn't really have to.

"We think about chips a little bit differently than perhaps other do," he said. "Our focus is not on the number of cores.

"What we're really about is trying to drive a user experience. One of the things that we've really focused on with the S4 series is actually what happens when you go buy a phone using that chip.

"It's always a delicate thing to talk about one design being better than another design, so I'm going to leave it up to you guys to decide whether four cores is in fact better than two and whether size matters." He then showed some benchmarking results which showed that the S4 MSM8960 had beaten a quad-core (unnamed) chipset across a variety of tests.

"Our Snapdragon [S4] processor actually outperforms, in general, most quad-cores - every quad-core that I know," he said. "We've focused on performance at a particular power budget...sustained performance over a period of time. So when we give you a number it actually delivers."

Chandhok also addressed concerns over rumours that Qualcomm's Windows 8 chips weren't up to scratch. "Performance-wise, I think we're quite a bit ahead of our competitors in the places that will really matter to consumers," he said, referring to Microsoft's new ARM-based OS.

Despite Qualcomm's playing down the importance of the number of cores in response to the massive amount of Tegra 3 chips, the San Diego-based silicon giant was still showing off some quad-core action of its own at its MWC booth, where a Snapdragon S4 APQ8064 chip was shown powering a Liquid reference design HD tablet with each of the four cores running at around 1.5GHz.

The S4 chipset is shipping to manufacturers now, so you should see it hitting tablets and smartphones aplenty in the near future. The HTC One X features Nvidia's Tegra 3 but the version headed to AT&T in the States will come rocking Qualcomm’s MSM8960 chip with integrated LTE.