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Qualcomm (s QCOM) has just released a new chip family focused on smartphones, including one that breaks the gigahertz barrier. The chips’ capabilities make clear that the line between phones and low-end notebooks are blurring. They’re based on the Scorpion CPU that is at the heart of Snapdragon chipsets and uses an 800 MHz to 1 GHz custom ARM-based CPU.
This new chip family, the horribly named MSM7x30, can do 720p HD video (encode/decode), 2-D and 3-D graphics, and has surround sound, integrated GPS and a 12-Megapixel camera as well as all the usual trimmings like Bluetooth and Wi-fi and FM Radio 3G (both flavors). On the multimedia front, Qualcomm is playing catch-up Texas Instruments (s TXN) and Nvidia (s NVID). The new chips work with all smartphone operating systems except Apple’s iPhone OS. They will be launched sometime next year and are optimized for the web experience.