Probably one of the biggest rumors leading up to the Windows Phone 8 announcement was some speculation that Qualcomm would lose its exclusive status as the sole SoC vendor for Windows Phone handsets. As a recap, WP7 and WP7.5 started out with QSD8x50 65nm Snapdragon, and later moved on to 45nm single core MSM8x55 and MSM7x30. 

Today, Microsoft announced that Qualcomm will be the sole provider of dual core SoCs for initial launch devices from hardware partners Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC. There's some wiggle room in there for what comes after that first phase, but for now Qualcomm still holds that exclusive spot. 

Update: Qualcomm stated in a note to us that the initial Windows Phone 8 devices will use a Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC. I asked for clarification about which specific SoC this is, and found out it is indeed MSM8960 inside - dual core krait with Adreno 225. 

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  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Surprised they haven't allowed more hardware partners like nVidia, TI, and ST-Ericcson yet.
  • Malih - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    exactly, and especially considering the Surface tablet uses nVidia's Tegra
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    The source code between Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT/8 may be the same but they are not the same operating systems. Windows RT/8 have a lot more partners.
  • tipoo - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Picking one and optimizing around one SoC is what made WP7 feel so fast on even such relatively old and slow SoCs though, this isn't an entirely bad thing. Now all that optimization remains since they're only on one chip, but the chip is now one of the fastest, so WP8 should be pretty damn fast.
  • usama_ah - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    maybe because they want everything in one chipset (including LTE) thus NVIDIA's Tegra3 while excellent for Win8 RT, is not yet ready for Win Phone 8?
  • Zink - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I think this is best for developers too, only one SOC from each generation to worry about. End users get better optimized software even if they get a phone that is technically not the most powerful.
  • UpSpin - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    It's a stupid decision, because it favors Qualcomm, thus hinders any competition. Because of Android, and only Android, different SoC manufacturers can battle each other, they are forced to produce new and better products, either CPU or GPU. They try multi-core systems, dual/quad channels, multi-core GPUs, ... they can experiment and innovate, try to be the best.
    So if only WP8 exists we would still only have slow single core processors, because Samsung, TI, nvidia, ... wouldn't develop for it. Only one SoC developer would exist, qualcomm, which does not need to put a lot of money in research, because they have no competition. So end users get the worst.
  • DarkUltra - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Exactly. iPhone and Android pushes the anvelope a lot more. However I find my nokia lumia 800 much smoother and responsive than the latest high end android ICS sets I've tried. It is simpler yet very useful with support for onenote, skydrive and office files.

    3rd party apps can be jerky and slow, like Trine i farta and gMaps so I look forward to a faster cpu and gpu.
  • GuniGuGu - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Nope competition pushes them all.. And Android being so open has the most drive and competition among them all.
  • UpSpin - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    i often hear the Office integration as an advantage of WP, especially OneNote. Not as an offense, just as a hint for the future: I got heavily disappointed by the office integration in WP, epecially OneNote. I used OneNote on a tablet PC to ink, sadly, this main usage of OneNote on Windows isn't supported on WP, it isn't able to display ink.
    Ironically, for every OS, except WP, there exists MobileNoter, which syncs with OneNote, and supports displaying, and even editing, ink.

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