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Reference design for Snapdragon Android phone ships

Dec 22, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Bsquare says it is now shipping a smartphone reference platform for developing Android applications using the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. The Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform (MDP) for Android is built around the 1GHz MSM8655 Snapdragon, and offers a 3.8-inch WVGA multitouch screen, a 12-megapixel camera, plus a full array of wireless radios and sensors, says the company.

The Snapdragon MDP was announced in June, and is now shipping, says Bsquare. The MDP offers application developers and device manufacturers a complete application development, testing, and optimization platform for Snapdragon-based Android devices, says the company. The device is said to be backed up with Bsquare support, engineering services, and the TestQuest test automation tool.

Snapdragon MDP

(Click to enlarge)

The Snapdragon MDP reference phone is based on a Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon clocked at 1GHz. This second-generation chipset upgrades the original QSD8250/8650 chipsets and paves the way for the third-generation, dual-core MSM8660 and MSM8260 models, which are sampling now, running at 1.2GHz.

Like previous Snapdragon models, which have been widely used in high-end — and now mid-range– Android phones, the MSM8655 chipset includes an Adreno 205 3D/2D graphics processing unit (GPU), says Bsquare. 

The Snapdragon MDP phone (pictured at left and above) is said to ship with 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal flash, and offers a mini-SD slot stocked with an 8GB SD card.

The reference phone sports a 3.8-inch WVGA, capacitive multitouch screen, and provides a 12-megapixel camera, says Bsquare. Capable of 720p video decode and encode, the phone is equipped with an HDMI port, says the company.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS are available, along with an accelerometer, compass, proximity and light sensors, and even temperature and pressure sensors. Other features are said to include 16mm stereo loudspeakers, a 3.5mm audio jack, a SIM connector, and a micro-USB port. A rotary wheel, side keys, and camera button are also available, says the company. 

Bsquare's software kit includes a Trepn Profiler app (pictured) for optimizing application power usage, says Bsquare. There is also an Adreno Profiler for optimizing 3D graphics performance.

TestQuest test automation products including TestQuest Pro and CountDown are said to be available in versions tailored specifically for the MSM8655 and the Snapdragon MDP.

Additional software packages preloaded on the phone include Qualcomm's Deep Sea 3D UI and Power Profiling application, Tactel's Navigation app, and SouthEnd Interactive's ilomilo OpenGLES Game, says Bsquare.

In November, Qualcomm demonstrated a new version of its Snapdragon chipset called the MSM8960, said to let handsets work with LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks as well as current 3G networks. Set to sample in 2011, the MSM8960 will also integrate Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and an FM receiver.

Bsquare is primarily known for its Windows Mobile and Windows CE embedded BSPs, development boards, and other related products, but has also dabbled in Linux along the way.


Snapdragon MDP video on YouTube
Source: Bsquare
(Click to play)

Stated Tia Cassett, senior director of business development for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, "Bsquare offers expertise in supporting mobile application development and test automation that can help Snapdragon MDP customers bring their applications to market in a more efficient and timely manner."


The Snapdragon MDP is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at Bsquare's Snapdragon MDP page, as well as at Qualcomm's Snapdragon MDP page.

Bsquare is hosting a webinar on the MDP to be held on Jan. 13, 10 a.m. Pacific time. Registration information may be found here.

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