OnQ Blog

A Simple Way to Identify Which Snapdragon System is Right for You

Aug 3, 2011

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Today Qualcomm is introducing a new way for our customers, our industry colleagues and consumers to identify the Snapdragon chipset that fits their needs. Those of you who know us well know that our current Snapdragon family of processors has grown to encompass over 15 different chips with feature sets that target mass market smartphones all the way through high end smartphones and tablets. And, although our Snapdragon chips are called processors, they are really system on chip solutions. Inside each Snapdragon chip are multiple hardware subsystems including CPUs, GPUs, modems, multimedia processors, GPS, DSPs, sensors, as well as advanced management software.

And all of these components are integrated into a single small chip that is designed with mobile in mind. The result is that Snapdragon processors deliver outstanding performance and longer battery life. But with such a deep roadmap of chips, our customers and industry colleagues have told us that it has become increasingly difficult to quickly and easily identify which chips are best suited for different devices.

We have arrived at a simple solution. Now our Snapdragon processors are classified into three system classes, System 1 (S1), System 2 (S2) and System 3 (S3): Simple names which denote performance and feature set. Moving forward, we will continue to add new classes as our roadmap grows. Without further ado, I present you with the Snapdragon S1, Snapdragon S2 and Snapdragon S3.

Snapdragon Roadmap


Snapdragon S1: Mass Market Smartphones


Snapdragon S1 processors offer great performance and longer battery life for today’s mass market smartphones. Boasting CPU speeds of up to 1Ghz, Adreno 200 graphics and a 3G modem, Snapdragon S1 processors are powering some of today’s coolest devices.

“The HTC Wildfire S could be the darling of the affordable Android handsets……..The most important factor for us is that we’ve found the HTC Wildfire S capable to performing those core tasks without too much of a compromise.”
Pocket-Lint’s review of the HTC Wildfire S powered by the Snapdragon S1


The Snapdragon S2: High Performance Smart Phones & Tablets


The Snapdragon S2 processor is an excellent choice for high performance smartphones and tablets. The S2 class of processors have some of the same design foundations as the S1 class but with some key performance improvements including a single core Scorpion CPU that clocks to speeds of up to 1.4Ghz, the fastest single core mobile CPU in the market, and the Adreno 205 GPU, which is designed to provide a 2x performance boost over the Adreno 200 GPUs. Web browsing and multimedia performance gets a serious performance boost too. With just one CPU core, the Snapdragon S2 can offer smoother graphics than other solutions that use dual-core CPUs.

“You can see clearly in the video that Qualcomm’s 2nd generation, single-core processor chewed up YouTube’s 720p Flash content without a hitch while the others failed to keep up in a smooth fashion.”
Phandroid – (6/2011)


Snapdragon S3: Multi-tasking & Advanced Gaming


Here’s where things really get kicked up a notch. Simply put, the Snapdragon S3 is designed to offer 2x the graphics performance of the S2 and 4x the graphics performance of the S1. The S3 class of processors also feature a dual core Scorpion CPU at speeds of up to 1.5Ghz per core. With a more powerful GPU and a fast dual core CPU, the things our customers are starting to do with the S3 are pretty incredible. Take the HTC EVO 3D, this smartphone features a front-facing camera for video calls, two cameras on the back to create 3D photos and a display that uses a parallax barrier so you can view 3D photos without 3D glasses!

This performance boost also allows our customers to create devices with bigger and sharper displays. The Snapdragon S1 and S2 are typically in devices with 3-4-inch displays that offer a resolution of 800x480. The Snapdragon S3 in the HTC EVO 3D drives a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 960x540, while the HP TouchPad tablet uses a monstrous 10.1-inch with a resolution of 1024x768.

To maintain great battery life while also improving performance, Qualcomm designed the S3’s Scorpion CPU cores to be asynchronous, so each core can operate at different frequencies and voltages for superior performance at lower power. The S3 class of processors also support a host of video codecs and multimedia acceleration. You can learn more about the devices that use Snapdragon processors in our Snapdragon Showcase

“It (The Snapdragon S3) has arguably the best CPU and GPU in the dual-cores…The CPU being asynchronous can be a real battery saver… including NEON and has a 128-bit pipeline rather than 64 bit found in all other CPU thus a better speed…About multimedia, Its one of the best when it comes to multimedia… Qualcomm is also known for the stability of chipsets due to the fact that everything is on the chipset itself rather than making manufacturers add it.”
Droid Gamers—Beastly Dual-Core Android Devices: A Rundown on Each Chipset (5/2011)


Coming Soon: Snapdragon S4—Next Generation Devices


The Snapdragon S4 class will include the newest generation of Snapdragon processors and will feature a new CPU microarchitecture and integrated 3G/LTE multimode. The S4 will stay true to its roots by delivering exceptional battery power—a 65% decrease in power consumption, yet at the same time boost performance by 150%. This combo is going to create mobile products that offer graphics that are comparable to current gaming consoles.

You’re also going to see Snapdragon S4 processors in new form factors and running a full blown desktop operating system. We’re currently working with Microsoft so the S4 can run the next version of Windows—Windows 8.

Stay tuned for big things. Or should we say small things?

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Tim McDonough

Senior Vice President, Marketing

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