CES 2013: Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 800 processors

Mobile chip maker Qualcomm uses opening keynote at CES to unveil its latest processor range

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs officially opened this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by announcing its Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series chips.

Qualcomm has shipped more than 11 billion chips in its history, and claims its latest flagship Snapdragon 800 processor will provide up to 75% better performance than previous chips.

Designed for smartphones, tablets and PCs, the 800 processor will run at 2.3Ghz. Products are expected to start shipping with the chips in the summer.

Jacobs said that 84% of people claim they cannot go a single day without mobile. He also said that we are now in Gen-M – generation mobile– with people growing up with mobile devices, and therefore being “born mobile”.

He also stated that there are 6.5 billion mobile connections worldwide, which will soon outnumber the number of human beings on Earth.

“Almost one million new smartphone users are added each day. Mobile is fuelling economic growth and transforming industries,” he said at the pre-show keynote.

CES is expected to attract 150,000 visitors to Las Vegas this year and will showcase next-generation technology products.

The keynote also featured a surprise appearance from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, who ran on stage to quickly talk about Windows 8 on tablets and mobile.

While Ballmer hosted the pre-show keynote last year, it was said to be his last as Microsoft decided not to exhibit at this year’s CES.

However, Ballmer’s appearance at the keynote was to touch on the “big year” for the company, following the launch of Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 8. He went on to point out a variety of Windows 8 devices, including the HTC 8X and a Lumia 920.

Ballmer stated that 10,000 apps had been added to the Windows Store in the past month, and that over Christmas it shipped five times more Windows Phones than the previous year.

Producer, writer and director Guillermo Del Toro was one of several other guests to join Jacobs on stage to demonstrate the power behind the Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset. Using a Snapdragon 800 tablet, the audience was shown a trailer for Del Toro’s latest film, Pacific Rim.

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