Ina Fried

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Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon Processor Packs Two More Surprises

At January’s CES event, Qualcomm announced an impressive array of specifications for the Snapdragon 800 — a quad-core processor, Ultra HD video, etc.


And at Mobile World Congress next week, the chipmaker is showing off two more features of the forthcoming processor.

First off, it will have an integrated voice-processing capability that sets the stage for devices that can always be activated via a command. The catchphrase, which can be customized by the phone maker, requires no press of a button, and can even wake a phone that is in standby or airplane mode.

Secondly, Qualcomm is introducing the second generation of its rapid-charging capability. The initial version, included in 70 devices, allowed phones and tablets to charge up to 40 percent faster. The 2.0 version of the technology will allow devices to charge up to 75 percent faster, meaning that tablets that normally take more than seven hours to charge can fully charge in less than three hours.

The chipmaker says there are more than 55 phones and tablets in development using the Snapdragon 800, with the initial ones due in the second half of 2013.

Qualcomm is, of course, not the only processor maker hoping to make news in Barcelona. Rival Nvidia is using next week’s show to detail its first LTE-integrated processor, while Intel plans to show its dual-core processor and new efforts aimed at emerging markets.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald