Qualcomm renames SoCs, quad-core on track

August 04, 2011 // By Rick Merritt
Qualcomm rebranded its Snapdragon processors and indicated some of its 28nm chips are now sampling. The company now places its integrated applications processors with names like the MSM7225 into four broad buckets, organized by performance and feature sets.

Qualcomm rebranded its Snapdragon processors and indicated some of its 28nm chips are now sampling. The company now places its integrated applications processors with names like the MSM7225 into four broad buckets, organized by performance and feature sets.

The Snapdragon S1 chips are made in a 65nm process, deliver up to 1 GHz data rates and use up to a 200 MHz Adreno graphics core. They include some low-end apps processors not previously classified as Snapdragon chips but capable of running a smartphone operating system.

The S2 chips are made in a 45nm process, run at up to 1.4 GHz and support 1024x768 displays at up to 720-progressive resolution including support for stereoscopic 3-D. The S3 chips are also made in 45nm technology, run at up to 1.5 GHz, offer dual-core options and support up to 1,440 x 900 resolution displays.

Several members of the S1, S2 and S3 families are already shipping in commercial products. For example the HP TouchPad tablet and HTC Evo 3D smartphone use S3-class processors.

Qualcomm's next-generation processors, now called the S4, will be made in 28nm technology, run at up to 2.5 GHz, and support dual and quad-core options. They will also use a next-generation Adreno graphics core and support 3G and LTE networks.

The company is now sampling single-core S4 chips and aims to sample quad-core versions early next year. They include the MSM8930 for mainstream smartphones, the dual-core MSM8960 for high-end smartphones and tablets and the quad-core APQ8064 for high-end consumer devices.

Qualcomm first announced the 28nm chips at the Mobile World Congress in February. At the same event, rival Nvdia showed working versions of its quad-core Kal-El chips running in a tablet. Texas Instruments aims to leapfrog both competitors with its Omap 5 based on the new ARM Cortex A15 core described in July.

The rebranding exercise aims to simplify the Qualcomm road map that "tends to be a bit confusing—it's