Android News

Qualcomm renames Snapdragon, gears up for quad-core showdown with NVIDIA

August 3, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android News


Most Android phones today have a Snapdragon processor. Exactly which Snapdragon processor is in those phones is a completely different story, which is why Qualcomm is finally simplifying the naming structure of its processor line. The MS%^* whatever branding is being replaced by the easier-to-digest Snapdragon S1, S2, S3, and S4.

As TechCrunch notes, the higher the number associated with an S, the better the specs. Qualcomm has always delivered different tiers for multiple classes of devices, but the company is making it easier to track. Android device makers can now choose from one of the following:

  • S1 for Mass market smartphones (low-end)
  • S2 for High performance smart phones & tablets
  • S3 for Multi-tasking & advanced gaming
  • S4 for Next generation devices

Qualcomm currently ranks the S3, as seen in the HTC EVO 3D and Sensation, as it best available chipset. However the S4 chipset will advance the platform considerably. The next generation of devices will support up to 2.5 GHz; single, dual, or quad-core CPU’s; the next gen Adreno GPU; and 3G/LTE multimode. Late in 2011 or early 2012, we should see these chipsets start popping up in Android tablets and phones.

Of course, NVIDIA also plans to introduce quad-core chips around that time (or sooner), so we’re set for another Tegra vs. Snapdragon showdown. Both NVIDIA’s quad-core Kal-El and Qualcomm’s S4 chipsets will obviously take phones far beyond what anyone could have imagined when using a G1 back in 2008, so be sure to keep an eye on which platform gets the leg-up when they’re both available. We’ve already gotten a taste of what Kal-El can do, but I doubt Qualcomm will be far behind.