US chip shop Qualcomm began shipping its Snapdragon platform to device manufacturers on Wednesday. Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC is one of the first companies to sign up for the 3G chipset.

The first two chipsets from the Snapdragon portfolio are the QSD8250 and QSD8650, which combine mobile data processing, multimedia, 3G connectivity and low levels of power consumption, as well as support for both Windows Mobile and Linux operating systems.

The platform supports HSPA data rates of up to 7.2Mbps on the downlink and 5.76Mbps on the uplink, while the dual-mode QSD8650 also supports CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. B.

Snapdragon also boasts support for HD video decode, 12 megapixel cameras, GPS, broadcast TV using MediaFLO, DVBH-H and ISDB-T, wifi and Bluetooth in a small form-factor a reality.

“As we expand from the traditional wireless handset market, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform will be the catalyst for a new era of innovative computing and consumer wireless mobile devices,” said Sanjay Jha, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.  “The enthusiastic reception from leading electronics customers for our versatile gigahertz Snapdragon chipset heralds new possibilities for products blending the mobile phone, 3G wireless connectivity and computing capabilities with unsurpassed battery life.”