Windows Phone 7: The AnandTech Guideby Brian Klug on March 21, 2010 12:00 AM EST
Given our transistor filled nature, one of our major concerns was discovering what System on Chip (SoC) lies at the heart of WP7S. This is especially the case given the strict, uniform hardware requirements stipulated for virtually all hardware manufacturers (it's like an iPhone made by 4 different companies?).
The basic hardware requirements are (as we mentioned earlier) the following:
- Capacitive Touch
- 4 or more contact points
- A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
- 5 megapixels or more, flash required, camera button required
- Common detailed specs, Codec Acceleration
- 256 MB RAM or more, 8 GB Flash or more
- No external storage support (no SD cards)
- DirectX 9 acceleration
- ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better
- Two Supported Displays
- 480 x 800 WVGA : Aspect Ratio 3:5
- 320 x 480 HVGA : Aspect Ratio 2:3
However, we've dug up some more hardware details that are entirely new. Microsoft told me personally they've definitely already chosen a particular SoC, but aren't ready to state what it is. There's a dialog that takes place between OEMs, Microsoft, and carriers to decide on both the clocks and optimal performance/battery target for the device. My understanding is that this dialog is ongoing, and that the software giant will make a final announcement when it's settled. Although Microsoft has not announced whether it's the case, Qualcomm has already made an announcement of its own that Snapdragon lies at the core. We should know soon, but Tegra or any other choices are looking highly unlikely at this point. Speculate all you want, no amount of pressing would get Microsoft to disclose what they've chosen. We'll just have to be patient.
Hopefully Microsoft has chosen its WP7S SoC with the future in mind - the landscape will likely have changed significantly by Q4 2010, and Snapdragon as we know it today will be old news. Both the single core 8X50A Snapdragon at 1.3 GHz, as well as the 8X72 dual core Snapdragon at 1.5 GHz will likely have made their debut and start arriving in products by Q4 2010. It's entirely possible that one of these is the choices, but we just don't know yet.
There's some interesting stuff going on with the GPU on WP7S. Although we don't know anything about the specific silicon, we know a lot about the software implementation that needs to be rounded up thoroughly.
Let's start from the beginning. Remember from the earlier article how WP7S runs code across two separate frameworks - Silverlight, and XNA? Each of these have their own set of hardware accelerated functions that directly leverage the GPU. Furthermore, you cannot mix and match Silverlight and XNA frameworks at present, something Microsoft hopes to eventually reconcile, but not, you guessed it, in this release.