When Apple launched the iPad
last April, Qualcomm's Snapdragon QSD8250 was a popular point of comparison. The results, if you were a Qualcomm fan, were a bit disappointing. Clock-for-clock, the 1GHz A4 generally whomped all over the 1GHz Snapdragon. To be fair, this could also be the result of unoptimized software or strict power conservation settings, but neither factor prevented Qualcomm from looking like the red-headed stepchild.
The previous generation QSD8650. The 8672 promises an additional core and extra rawr.
By Q4 the tables may have turned. In June, Qualcomm shipped its first 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon and it expects to launch a 1.5GHz dual-core QSD8672 built on 45nm technology. The new chip purportedly supports 1080P playback although Qualcomm's own webpage lists 1440x900 as the maximum resolution, supports HSPA+ networks, and offers increased 3D performance. Qualcomm lists up to 80M triangles/sec and 500M 3D pixels/sec as theoretical outputs for the QSD8672, up from 22M triangles/sec and 133M 3D pixels/sec on the QSD8x50.
It'll presumably be 2011 before we see devices built around the new processors, but this new flavor of Snapdragon might be capable of challenging the A4's performance while simultaneously delivering a performance-per-watt ratio that continues to make life difficult for the next generation of Atom
processors Intel badly wants to see in mobile devices.