Qualcomm is usually known for making other manufacturers rethink their strategies, but this time around it is the one cancelling one of its SoCs.
Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 802, a SoC devised for smart-TV, at the Consumer Electronics Show last month. Initial estimates indicated commercial availability by the second half of this year, but in a bizarre move, Qualcomm announced in a statement yesterday that it has cancelled the Snapdragon 802, and that the SoC would not be making it into commercial hardware.
Qualcomm cited a lack of demand for the product as being the main motivator behind the decision. A statement released yesterday by Jon Carvill, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Public Relations, said, “Qualcomm has decided not to commercialize the recently announced Snapdragon 802 processor as the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated. This decision is specific to the Snapdragon 802 processor and does not affect other products we are currently shipping in this segment.”
The last line offers a better clue as to why Qualcomm may have cancelled the SoC. The Snapdragon 802 was very similar to the Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 805. It featured a quad-core 1.8GHz quad-core Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU with 4K streaming abilities, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, AllJoyn integration and Snapdragon Studio Access content protection feature. Clearly, there is not much to differentiate the 802 from either the 800 or 805, and it could be that manufacturers weren’t interested in a new offering when the Snapdragon 800 was already in the market for a year. Another factor might have been that manufacturers were unwilling to shell out the kind of money that Qualcomm was asking for the Snapdragon 802. Considering the amount of time it must have taken Qualcomm to design and then test the SoC, it is strange that it would cancel a product so quickly.