A decade is a lifetime when you realize how fast technology has matured from one generation to another, when innovation occurs at a torrid pace, and when mobile devices keep going through iterations of awesomeness. That’s because Qualcomm Technologies and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform have been there every step of the way, and it’s great to look back to see how far we’ve come, and to wish Snapdragon a happy 10th anniversary.
When Qualcomm was founded in 1985, its earliest products were exclusively cellular modem technologies for quality communications. The most popular use for modems back in those days was for tracking and communications among trucking fleets. Fast forward a few years and people were soon carrying these modems in pocket-sized computers. We started calling them smartphones.
Qualcomm Technologies set out to develop technology that would deliver more than just the communication requirements of smartphones — to design a full-blown computer system with handheld portability in mind. Unlike traditional PCs, smartphones aren’t always plugged into a power source, nor do they have fans that keep them from overheating. Our computer system solution had to be fast, but it also had to stay cool while sipping as little power as possible to support all day battery life.
Ten years ago, we introduced our first smartphone computer system-on-a-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform. Snapdragon is engineered to integrate the technology required to drive the features you love in your smartphone: a GPU, CPU, DSP, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Camera ISP, cellular modem, and much more.
Each new generation of Snapdragon packed in more technology, more performance, more battery life, while staying within its miniature physical footprint. The first-generation Snapdragon was built using a 65nm process node. Generally speaking, smaller process nodes mean smaller transistors, which reduces power and increases speed. Today’s flagship Snapdragon 835 was developed on a process node that is 6X smaller — just 10nm. And it features more diverse technologies than most desktop computers: cellular modem, GPS, NFC, support for multiple high-quality cameras, and more.
While Snapdragon was originally designed with smartphones in mind, its evolution in features, performance, and power consumption has made it desirable for many different products, including tablets, automobiles, smartwatches, drones, virtual and augmented reality glasses. And we expect that early next year you’ll be able to purchase Windows PCs powered by Snapdragon.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Snapdragon mobile platform, and we’re thrilled to see how much Snapdragon has driven innovation in the mobile industry and beyond. We can’t wait to show you what the next big things will be.