Qualcomm Reveals Its Mobile-Chip Roadmap

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) is one of the world's top semiconductor companies by revenue, and certainly one of the most inspiring semiconductor success stories in recent years. The company, under former CEO Paul Jacobs and now under current CEO Steve Mollenkopf, has been relentless in driving next-generation mobile silicon with a breadth and depth that's unmatched among its peers in the ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH  ) ecosystem. Today, along with a preview of its upcoming Snapdragon 805, Qualcomm updated the world on what's coming down its chip pipeline.

Say hello to the roadmap
Here's Qualcomm's updated mobile chip roadmap:

Source: Qualcomm via AnandTech.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 is set to show up in devices during the second half of this year. Interestingly enough, the Snapdragon 810 -- which is the more powerful of the first 20-nanometer system-on-a-chip products coming from Qualcomm next year -- is set to come first. Following that will be the Snapdragon 808. which is the less powerful two-core ARM Cortex A57/4 core Cortex A53 big.LITTLE variant (810 features 4 A57 cores and 4 A53 cores as well as a faster graphics processing unit and LPDDR4 support).

The mid-range quad/octa-core Cortex A53 parts look on track to start shipping to customers later this year (Digitimes suggests that the parts are about to enter high-volume production), and the Snapdragon 410 for really low-cost phones (again based on the Cortex A53) looks to arrive a bit sooner than that.

An attractive roadmap
In all, this is an extremely compelling product stack that establishes leadership for Qualcomm from the lowest-cost entry-level LTE phones to the highest-end hero devices. The 410, 610, and 615 should offer best-in-class performance/power (as well as tick the 64-bit checkbox and -- in the case of the 615 -- tick the "octa-core" checkbox for regions where core count is important) and a solid cost structure. The high-end 808 and 810 look so far to be unmatched in terms of performance and integration relative to what has been announced so far (although it is admittedly early days).

The most interesting point here, though, is that the Snapdragon 810 will come first. This, at first glance, looks as though it is more targeted toward tablets rather than phones, but the timing really does suggest that it's going to be ready for the launches of next-generation "hero" phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the successors to the LG G3, and HTC One (M8), and the other devices that launched this year.

While it's still too early to say with complete certainty that this product lineup will sweep the important designs during the first half of 2015, the odds are very good that it will. Qualcomm's leadership in modem technology, as well as on the computing and graphics performance side of things, really does make it the lineup of products to beat.

Foolish bottom line
Qualcomm's mobile R&D dollars are being put to good use, and it's clear that this is not a company resting on its already considerable laurels. Any merchant vendor (or even in-house team) trying to build a mobile processor is going to have to compete on performance, power, and cost relative to Qualcomm, and there are very few players with the sheer R&D might and economies of scale to compete well.

This won't stop many from trying, and a second source to Qualcomm is likely to emerge, but Qualcomm will most likely remain the leader, given its head start and wherewithal to invest at a level that few companies could afford to and even fewer would want to try.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big -- like buying PC maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom, or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hypergrowth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure play" and then watch as it grows in explosive fashion within its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 trillion industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2967626, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 4:37:05 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

Today's Market

updated 7 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,058.35 -469.68 -2.84%
S&P 500 1,913.85 -58.33 -2.96%
NASD 4,636.11 -140.40 -2.94%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/1/2015 4:00 PM
QCOM $55.02 Down -1.56 -2.76%
Qualcomm CAPS Rating: ****
ARMH $41.26 Down -0.90 -2.13%
ARM Holdings CAPS Rating: **