Qualcomm details their new S4 processors due to hit in 2012 [LTE, NFC, 28 nanometer]

Earlier this year Qualcomm introduced a new product naming scheme to make it easier for customers and members of the press to more easily differentiate the various processors in their portfolio. The highest end product family, known as the S4, has been something we’ve known relatively little about, but that’s just changed thanks to a new whitepaper [PDF file] that Qualcomm has released detailing every awesome new feature the S4 family will bring to 2012 smartphones.

First, it’s going to be the company’s first 28 nanometer chip, meaning it’ll be incredibly tiny and consume far less power than today’s 45 nanometer processors. Everything on the market, from Apple’s A4/A5, to NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, to the TI OMAP4, is built on a 45 nanometer process. Samsung recently announced a 32 nanometer chip that’s slated to start sampling this quarter, but other than that, no one has announced anything in the sub 45 nanometer level. Rumors suggest Apple will go to 28 nanometer for the A6, which we expect to see in the third generation iPad by the end of Q2 2012.

Second, the Scorpion processor that Qualcomm has custom built is getting an update to something called Krait. According to Ananadtech, Qualcomm says that clock for clock their Krait cores are 30% faster than ARM’s Cortex A9 cores. We’ll of course have to wait until we’ve got smartphones in our hands that we can run benchmarks on to be able to enthusiastically support the claim. The slowest Krait core runs at 1.5 GHz, the fastest at 2.5 GHz, and you’ll be able to use them in single, dual, or quad core configurations.

Third, graphics are going to get a major boost with the new Adreno 225 GPU. Qualcomm says it’s 50% faster than the Adreno 220 that’s currently out and seen in such devices as the HTC Sensation and T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II. They also say it’ll be faster than the GPU in Apple’s A5, which is all well and good, except that the A6 is expected to land at roughly the same time as the S4.

Fourth, there’s more connectivity in this chip than you can shake a stick at. There’s support for both flavors of LTE (FDD and TDD), 42 Mbps HSPA+, TD-SCDMA (the Chinese 3G), CDMA (from 1x Advanced all the way to EV-DO Rev. B), and of course GSM/GPRS/EDGE. It even supports all spectrum bands between 700 MHz and 2600 MHz. It’ll be up to handset vendors to support multiple band configurations however.

Fifth, don’t forget about local connectivity! The S4 will have integrated support for WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS support, near field communication (NFC; finally!), and good old fashioned FM radio.

Phew, that was a lot. If you’re looking for a more indepth look at the S4, be sure to check out this article on Anandtech. It goes through things like the increased pipline depth, the new memory bus, and all that sort of low level to the metal details that chip geeks crave.

  • Anonymous

    Bottomline here Qualcomm has come strong with the Snapdragon S4 which will have the capability of quadcore processor running at 1.5 to 2.5Ghz with 1.5gb of ram with a 10meg camera 16gb of internal storage and 4.7 to 5.0 inch screen this what will be the next EVO BRAND in 2012 which will be a quadcore device rolling on sprint. This new evo will be introduced at CTIA in May 2012 and will appear on sprint August 2012 well worth the wait in my world. HTC and SAMSUNG have both raised the bar that’s why apple has done there best to try to slow the production down of these manufacturers. Based on the useless iPhone 4S that was just announced it’s pretty clear that innovation has past apple by. I support HTC and Qualcomm as well as Sprint exactly in that order that is why I picked android in the first place back in June 2010. Current Htc Evo owners rather you have the OG EVO or the current EVO 3D 2012 will be big and based on that I will always roll HTC ONLY. Trust me android my be android but all android devices are not made the same and as a android supporter I’m sure we all know that. HTC RULES ALWAYS WILL.

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