The first BlackBerry 10 devices will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset. This is according to a reliable source at BlackBerryOS who claims to have received confirmation from within RIM and Qualcomm separately.
While current devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X run on the S4 family, the Pro variety offers an enormously powerful Adreno 320 graphics processor in addition to two Krait cores running at 1.5Ghz. The SoC is manufactured on a 28nm process and is extremely battery-efficient, even when the baseband is operating under LTE.
The rumour is sure to ignite the passions in BlackBerry loyalists worried that BB10 won’t be competitive with the iPhone and high-end Android and Windows Phones when it debuts in early 2013. The Adreno 320 GPU is up to twice as fast as the existing Adreno 225 inside current S4 chips, and supports OpenGL ES 3.0 and DirectX 11.
We’ve been told that the all-touch BlackBerry 10 device will have a resolution of 1280×768 pixels, while the QWERTY model will be 720×720 pixels. With a screen size of roughly 4.3-4.5 inches, the GPU should have no problem powering such a high-resolution display. Current Android devices run 720p screens on GPUs far less exacting.
According to the source, Qualcomm will be following up its S4 family with a line of S5 chips debuting in mid-2013. By then BB10 will be well into its first six months on the market, and we’ll know whether it has been the success RIM needs it to be.