The latest crop of smartphones - including the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 - currently feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, but the chip manufacturer has another SoC coming soon. The company will soon put the Snapdragon 800 into mass production in May, according to Engadget, with the chipset expected to make an appearance in high-end phones and tablets.

Chip technology certainly moves fast in this industry, but the Snapdragon 800 still looks impressive on paper. Qualcomm says 28nm Krait 400 CPU can sustain speeds of up to 2.3Ghz, and it’s paired with a new Adreno 330 GPU that bumps graphics performance by around 50%. The GPU is also capable of capturing and decoding 4K video at 30fps, a huge increase on current 1080p capabilities.

The Snapdragon 800 also supports other more recent features, such as DTS-HD audio decoding and wireless video streaming via Miracast (think AirPlay for Android). In addition, the chip has added the new Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard for increasing wireless speeds of around 400Mbit/s to 500Mbit/s. We’re just starting to see the latest Wi-Fi standard used in phones like the HTC One, but it’ll be good to see it reach other handsets in the future.

Finally, the SoC adds support for USB 3.0, theorically boosting wired transfer speeds when your device is plugged into a computer. Having said that, manufacturers would still need to use flash memory that’s capable of sustaining USB 3.0 speeds. Transfer speeds so far seem to be limited by slower memory used in phones rather than the limitations of USB 2.0. All in all, the Snapdragon 800 sounds like a great chip, but Qualcomm says we’ll won’t be seeing it in devices until later in the year.

[spotted at Phone Arena]