OnQ Blog

Celebrating 10 years of innovation with Snapdragon

Nov 14, 2017

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


Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform 10th Anniversary Milestones

We took a look back to see how far we've come

Download the full infographic

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.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Engage with us on


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.

Francisco Cheng

Director, Technical Marketing

©2021 Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its affiliated companies.

References to "Qualcomm" may mean Qualcomm Incorporated, or subsidiaries or business units within the Qualcomm corporate structure, as applicable.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses. Qualcomm products referenced on this page are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Materials that are as of a specific date, including but not limited to press releases, presentations, blog posts and webcasts, may have been superseded by subsequent events or disclosures.

Nothing in these materials is an offer to sell any of the components or devices referenced herein.