OnQ Blog

The Snapdragon S4 Processor Unveiled

Feb 27, 2012

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

After much anticipation, the details of the Snapdragon S4 processor and all of its trail-blazing features have been announced in time for Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. Prior to the show, we kicked things off by doing a deep dive over on the OnQ Blog into the multimedia features of the S4 processor, particularly in the areas of the camera, GPU, and audio. Fact is, more and more users are pushing their devices to the limit, whether it’s shooting HD video and high-res stills, running 3D-intensive games in a multiplayer scenario, or playing back 5.1 surround sound via their living room home theater. And for the truest multitaskers, they’ll have other applications running in the background (i.e. email, social media, music playback), which is why a processor that can handle many complex tasks at the same time is absolutely essential.

The Image Signal Processor (ISP) is essentially the S4 processor’s camera component, and we talked in depth about its features in this post, which highlights its ability to shoot up to 20 Megapixel stills and 1080p HD video (30 fps). It also lends itself to some popular use-cases such as capturing stereoscopic 3D content and High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, which we blogged about here.

Next up, we talked about the Snapdragon S4 GPU and all of its embedded features that are working concurrently to enable the smoothest 3D gaming experience. Of course, S4’s powerful GPU isn’t all about gaming; technologies that leverage the GPU, such as real-time 2D to 3D conversion, Augmented Reality applications, and Wi-Fi Display, are also available to developers for use in upcoming S4-equipped devices. Although audio isn’t immediately on people’s radar when they’re shopping for a smartphone or tablet, it should be because it’s critical to the user experience. Delivering a fantastic audio experience is something that Qualcomm has been doing for a while with its Snapdragon processors, and continues to do so with the S4 processor. It could be as simple as a phone call sounding crystal clear in a noisy environment or as complex as capturing and playing back 5.1 surround sound. Check out our video demo in this blog post.

If all of this isn’t convincing enough, Anandtech and PCMag.com ran an extensive list of performance benchmarks showing just how powerful the S4 processor is.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Look for smartphones and tablets featuring Snapdragon S4 processors to be available to purchase in a few months. And stay tuned for more coverage around the new Snapdragon S4 processor this week at Mobile World Congress.

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