Qualcomm targets tablets

Qualcomm promises 2011 will be the year of the Snapdragon for tablet PC makers, with ten vendors lining up 20 devices to take the silicon beyond smartphones, marketing director Anita Hix says.
Several tablet PCs running Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon silicon were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US last week, including a reference design from Compal, and a Lenovo unit that can click into a laptop-style casing.
“There are clearly several tablets here at the show, and we’re really excited that Snapdragon is playing a key role in many of them,” Hix said.
By opting for the silicon with two CPUs, vendors are able to make devices that are faster and more powerful than smartphones, Hix said, noting that the Compal unit can handle 3D graphics and offers a 1080p output to hook up to TV sets.
While both tablets Hix demonstrated run Android, the Lenovo unit offers Microsoft Windows 7 when connected to its casing, allowing users to run it like a regular laptop.
Snapdragon processors made steady gains in 2010, with the number of devices running the silicon growing from just a handful in late 2009 to 50 by the year end – including Google’s Nexus One smartphone – Hix revealed in a separate blog.