Qualcomm Debuts Pro Version of Snapdragon S4 Processor: MWC

The S4 Pro version of MSM8960 is optimized for advanced operating systems, including the Microsoft Windows 8 system.

BARCELONA, Spain€”Mobile technology specialist Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced that it will offer a Pro version of the Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor to enable even more capable mobile computing devices. The S4 Pro processor features the Adreno 320 GPU, support for higher resolution displays, and hardware and software compatibility with the S4 class.

The Adreno 320 is a high-performance programmable GPU designed to provide an enhanced user experience for Web browsing, games, user interfaces and other graphics applications. The Adreno 320 also infuses the S4 Pro version with new multimedia capabilities, including a computational camera€”the ability to tap directly into the computational capability of the Adreno 320 GPU through new APIs like OpenCL, to enable next-generation use cases such as light-field cameras for mobile devices.

The company said in support of next-generation 3D graphics APIs, Adreno 320 will enable more realistic 3D graphic effects through hardware acceleration of advanced rendering features like instancing, occlusion queries and multiple render targets. Adreno 320 also includes dedicated hardware to accelerate Windows and fully supports the top game engines in the industry from Unity, Epic and others.

"As a result of strong customer demand for Snapdragon S4 processors, we've added a new Pro version of MSM8960 to continue delivering the highest performing mobile processors in the industry," said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm. "By delivering the S4 Pro processor in 2012, we are fulfilling our promise that Snapdragon processors will remain the industry's barometer for excellence in mobile computing while helping our customers bring the most innovative smartphones and tablets to market."

The S4 Pro version of MSM8960 is optimized for advanced operating systems, including the Microsoft Windows 8 system, and is expected to come to market in the second half of 2012. Currently, there are more than 340 Snapdragon-based devices commercially available and more than 400 in development, according to a company release.

"Snapdragon S4 and S4 Pro are designed to enable tablets and notebook devices to deliver the high performance, flexibility, global 3G/4G connectivity and energy efficiency consumers are increasingly demanding," said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of computing and consumer products at Qualcomm. "We are excited about the Snapdragon S4 Pro processors' potential for consumers, and about the upcoming Windows 8 platform."

The company also announced that its next-generation Gobi modem chipsets€”the MDM8225, MDM9225 and MDM9625€”will begin sampling in the fourth quarter of 2012 and will be the first to support both HSPA+ Release 10 and the next generation of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband standard, LTE Advanced. The MDM9225 and MDM9625 chipsets are Qualcomm's third generation of LTE modem chipsets. In addition to supporting both LTE Advanced (LTE Release 10) and HSPA+ Release 10 (including 84M-bps dual-carrier HSDPA), they are backward-compatible with other standards, including EV-DO Advanced, TD-SCDMA and GSM.

"Our newest generation of Gobi modem chipsets will allow mobile device OEMs to design products that can operate on nearly any mobile broadband network worldwide," said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm. "In addition to supporting the latest mobile broadband technologies, these chipsets improve over Qualcomm's previous seven-mode 28nm LTE chipsets (MDM9x15) by offering a reduction in power consumption and overall board area, enabling OEMs to design smaller, sleeker devices with longer battery life."