First quad-core, then octa-core? BlackBerry processor ambitions revealed

Ontario smartphone said to run BlackBerry 10.3

BlackBerry Ontario

A rumored Blackberry phone codenamed Ontario has whipped by in a leaked benchmark, though a speedier device demon may be waiting in the wings.

According to a Geekbench Browser test, Ontario is set to run BlackBerry 10.3, sport a quad-core 2.15GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. The last BlackBerry flagship, the Z10, only ran a dual-core chip.

As BlackBerry has previously announced, it doesn't have plans to leave the smartphone business, and it's inked a deal with Foxconn to produce cheaper handsets.

The manufacturing contract agreement would have the Chinese company create devices while BlackBerry supplied the software.

BlackBerry Ontario
Whiplash caused by BlackBerry 10.3? (credit: Geekbench Browser)

BlackBerry to go octa-core?

N4BB has it on the authority of sources that BlackBerry plans to use a 2.3GHz Snapdragon MSM8974 quad-core Krait processor in Ontario.

The phone is part of its O-series, and the site claimed the MSM8974 will also appear in its W-series (or QWERTY) phones and B-series (all touch).

It's a fine chip, but N4BB sources also say that BlackBerry plans to utilize the Snapdragon MSM8994 in a device due in 2015.

The MSM8994 is built on the 20nm HKMG process, and boasts an octa-core, 64-bit architecture.

The high-end chip also features an Adreno 430 GPU, 1600MHz 4GB RAM LPDDR3 PoP and cores that can hit frequencies of 2.5GHz with 4MB L2 cache.

It's no guarantee the 64-bit device or Ontario will ever come to market, especially if BlackBerry decides its resources may be better spent elsewhere. However, we'll keep an ear to the ground.