The 1GHz Smartphone Has Arrived.

Toshiba Smartphone 1GHzThe 1GHz smartphone has arrived. A Japanese telecommunications carrier is the first to launch a device based on Qualcomm's much-anticipated Snapdragon processor.

Docomo is now offering the T-01A in Japan, while Microsoft is pitching the phone on its Japanese Web site.

This would mark the first commercially available product using the Snapdragon chip, a Qualcomm spokeswoman confirmed Monday. The chip's claim to fame is that it's an ARM design running at 1GHz. Typical ARM architecture chips used in mobile phones, such as the iPhone 3G S, peak at about 600MHz.

A legion of other chip suppliers offer ARM-based chips for mobile devices, including Texas Instruments, Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung, Nvidia, STMicroelectronics, and Broadcom.

The Toshiba-Docomo T-01A--which will be offered outside of Japan as the TG01--runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and is designed to take on the iPhone. Only 9.9mm thick, it uses a 4.1-inch WVGA 800x480 384k pixel resistive touch screen and comes with support for 3G HSPA, Wi-Fi, GPS and assisted-GPS.

The TG01 is also slated to be available in Europe this summer.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon silicon supports high-definition (720p) video decode, 3D graphics (up to 22M triangles/sec), XGA display support, a 12-megapixel camera, and mobile broadcast TV.

Qualcomm has been talking up the Snapdragon (aka QSD8250) since November 2007, when the company announced initial sample shipments of the chipset.

And Qualcomm won't stop at 1GHz. The San Diego-based company has demonstrated Netbooks running a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and will eventually push the chip to 1.5GHz.

The future Qualcomm QSD8672 will be a dual-core Snapdragon that features two CPU computing cores and will include HSPA+, up to 28Mbps download speeds, 1080p high-definition video, Wi-Fi, mobile TV, and GPS. The graphics core is based on Advanced Micro Devices' ATI unit's technology.