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Qualcomm’s new 64-bit Snapdragon 410 chip will bring 4G LTE to cheap smartphones in 2014

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 410 processor, which is its very first 64-bit capable chip, and destined to power competitively priced hardware at the tail end of 2014. Mobile fans will recall Apple became the first manufacturer to use a 64-bit chip inside a smartphone when it announced the iPhone 5S, which has helped mainstream audiences become aware of the technology.

However, while the iPhone 5S is a very expensive piece of kit, the phones using the Snapdragon 410 won’t be, and are instead expected to cost around $150. Smartphones with 64-bit chips and software are said to be more efficient, faster, and better at multi-tasking than their 32-bit cousins. The processor’s name indicates it’ll succeed the current Snapdragon 400, which can be found in the HTC One Mini and, perhaps more importantly, the Motorola Moto G.

The Moto G is set to have quite an impact on the low-end smartphone market, thanks to its sub-$200 price tag, but it’s slightly held back by not having 4G LTE connectivity. The Snapdragon 410 could fix that, as while its 64-bit compatibility will win the headlines, the addition of 4G LTE on this cheap chip is really more important in the long term.

Qualcomm’s targeting markets where 4G is only just emerging, in particular China, with the Snapdragon 410. This is confirmed by the inclusion of support for the locally used BeiDou GPS system, along with GLOSNASS for Russia too. It’ll run dual-SIM or even triple-SIM configurations, plus phones could be equipped with 13-megapixel cameras, 1080p video playback, and NFC.

While Android hardware will be the 410’s natural home, Qualcomm also mentions it should find its way inside both Windows Phone and Mozilla Firefox OS devices too. This won’t happen tomorrow though, as it’s only going to begin the final testing phase early next year, with a view to phones using the chip going on sale during the second half of 2014. Coincidentally (or not), that’s also about the time Motorola will be thinking about a sequel to the Moto G.

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