Qualcomm Eighty-Sixes Snapdragon 802 Chip for Smart TVs Due to Low Demand

Qualcomm had big plans of dominating the smart TV market with its Snapdragon 802 System-on-Chip (SoC), a powerful part capable of playing up to four HD videos simultaneously on the same TV while also being able to stream them to connected devices. Those plans proved premature, however, as demand for chips designed specifically for smart TVs turned out to be lower than Qualcomm thought, and so the Snapdragon 802 is no more.

In a brief statement posted to its website that almost comes off solemn, Qualcomm announced its decision to retire its smart TV chip.

"Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has decided not to commercialize the recently announced Snapdragon 802 processor as the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated. This decision is specific to the Snapdragon 802 processor and does not affect other products we are currently shipping in this segment," Qualcomm said.

Snapdragon Processors

Perhaps Qualcomm was ahead of its time with this one. The chip itself was no slouch. It featured a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU based on the company's Krait architecture, an Adreno 330 GPU with support for 4K video, and a host of other desireables, things like 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Dolby Digital and DTS, and other I/O goodies. The chip was primed for OEMs to add custom features like audio control, gestures, and even facial recognition.

What's surprising about this announcement is that it came so quickly. Qualcomm introduced the part last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but apparently enough time has lapsed to decide it's no longer worth pursuing. It's possible that smart TV makers just didn't see the value in the 802 part versus existing chips like the 800 and 805.