Snapdragon Blog

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

Aug 4, 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?

Tim McDonough

Senior Vice President, Marketing

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Snapdragon Wear 2100 powers high-end fashion smartwatches at Baselworld

Silicon Valley met Switzerland at this year’s Baselworld, the world’s premier event for the watch and jewelry industry, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Several impressive smartwatches made their debut, all touting the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform and all powered by Android Wear 2.0. With this reliable platform and OS developed specifically for wearables, it’s no wonder high-end brands are looking beyond basic wearable functions, and combining style with technology to develop chic smartwatches fit for any lifestyle.

The superior SoC for smartwatches, Snapdragon Wear 2100, is an integrated, ultra-low power sensor hub. It’s 30 percent smaller than previous-generation wearable SoCs, allowing OEMs the freedom to develop thinner, sleeker product designs. And because it uses 25 percent less power than its older sibling (the Snapdragon 400), watchmakers can offer even more features and better designs.

The Snapdragon Wear 2100 comes in both tethered (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) and connected (3G and 4G LTE) versions. The latter allows wearers to do more with their wearables, from streaming music to sending messages to calling a cab, in tandem with — or even without — having to bring their smartphones along.

Each of the touchscreen smartwatches included in this roundup run Android Wear 2.0, Google’s latest wearable operating system, and can pair with both iOS and Android phones. With Android Wear 2.0, users can personalize their watch faces with chronometer-style complications and create shortcuts to their favorite applications. In addition to the pre-installed Google Fit and calendar apps, more apps can be downloaded directly through the on-watch Google Play store, so wearers can customize their device to their lifestyle.

Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist. Find answers and get things done even when your hands are full. Reply to a friend, set a reminder, or ask for directions. Just hold the power button or say “OK Google”.

Check out the some of Snapdragon Wear powered smartwatches that made a splash at this year’s Baselworld:

Apr 18, 2017


Snapdragon 820 powered LG V20 is a multimedia heavyweight

We expect our smartphones to do a lot at once. We ask them to zing messages back and forth, stream the latest binge-worthy TV show, play the morning pump-up song, and notify us when the bus is five minutes away—all without depleting the charge we need to make it through the day. The problem is that some phones can only perform a few of these tasks at once, and most cannot multi-task in a power-efficient manner.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the LG V20, the latest in its V series of smartphones, intends to buck that trend. It’s engineered to harness the strength and finesse of its revolutionary processor to deliver immersive multimedia and gaming, ingenious productivity settings, and the intelligent power efficiency to make it all possible.

Oh, and did we mention that the V20 is making history? It’s the first smartphone to come preloaded with both of Android’s highly anticipated technologies—7.0 Nougat operating system and Google’s In Apps phone search—out of the box. With In Apps, a breakthrough intelligent search tool, you can find content from both built-in apps (like contacts, emails, text messages, and photos), as well as from user-installed apps. It also enables you to discover recently accessed apps, people to get in touch with, messages to read, or activity across apps, without having to type a query. Additionally, Nougat allows you to see two apps at once in a split screen and drag text, images, and files from one app to another for optimal multitasking.

The LG V20 offers leading connectivity with the 820’s integrated Snapdragon X12 LTE modem, which is a great fit for those who are always connected. It can support download speeds up to an incredible 600Mbps (perfect for streaming 360-degree VR videos), fast access to files in cloud storage, and quick downloads of high quality music for on-device or offline playback.

Sep 6, 2016

Meet Qualcomm Centriq—the latest member in Qualcomm Technologies’ expanding family of processors

So what’s in a name? A lot, actually. A name can be descriptive, evocative, abstract, or a composite of words. From a business perspective, your product’s name is one of the many things that sets it apart from the competition. But what elevates it in order of importance is that it’s often the first clue for your customers of what the spirit of your product is and what it can do.

Today, we are pleased to announce a new name to the Qualcomm Technologies roster of products: Qualcomm Centriq—a new family of SoC processors from Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies exclusively for the server market. The name was inspired by the all-important data center market which Qualcomm’s ARM V8 Server SoC will serve.

When will Qualcomm Centriq be available? Our first generation of Qualcomm Centriq processors are on track to sample production silicon before the end of this year, as stated by Qualcomm President Derek Aberle in February 2016. We look forward to bringing you more Qualcomm Centriq product details later this year.

In addition to selecting a server processor family name, we’re pleased to announce that Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies, Inc. has also been formed as a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies to aggressively pursue opportunities in the data center industry which, according to leading industry analyst research firms* as of February 2016, was forecasted SAM of $18B by 2020.

Qualcomm started out on our data center journey several years ago. Following is a snapshot of accomplishments thus far:

  • Announced to the street that Qualcomm is investing in data centers at our November 2014 analyst meeting
  • Began sampling ARMv8 custom 24-core server development platform in late 2015 to target customers and partners
  • Established several ecosystem relationships with hardware and software companies. To this end we announced strategic relationships with Xilinx to enable industry-leading heterogeneous computing solutions and with Mellanox to enable advanced, cost-effective connectivity platforms for data centers 
  • Established a joint venture with the People’s Government of Guizhou province to focus on the design, development and sale of advanced server chipset technology in China—a fast growing market which represents a significant growth area for data center solution providers
  • Established Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX) consortium—of which Qualcomm Technologies is a founding memberalong with other industry partners (with heterogeneous computing on the rise, having open compute and accelerator standards is important)

Stay tuned for more details about Qualcomm Centriq coming later this year.

Aug 18, 2016

Qualcomm builds momentum in China with Oppo licensing agreement

When it comes to how we connect, Qualcomm is committed to bringing the future forward faster, particularly through wireless connectivity. On the heels of recent agreements with Chinese electronic giants like Lenovo, Xiaomi and Haier, we are pleased to have reached a new patent licensing agreement with Oppo.

The agreement enables Oppo to develop and manufacture mobile devices with 3G and 4G LTE capabilities in China. Currently, more than 100 Chinese companies have signed license agreements with Qualcomm that are consistent with terms of the rectification plan submitted by Qualcomm to, and accepted by the NDRC.

The new agreement provides another step forward for Qualcomm to expand its licensing business in China—and to continue developing the connectivity fabric of everything on a global scale.

“Qualcomm is very pleased to sign a license agreement with OPPO,” said Alex Rogers, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Technology Licensing. “As an R&D engine for the industry, we are excited to see companies such as OPPO build on our patented technologies to drive further development and innovation and create compelling products."

According to IDC (July 2016), Oppo is the 2nd largest manufacturer of mobile electronic devices in China for the first half of 2016 and a top-10 global electronics player.

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