Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 800 and 600, says goodbye to the S4

January 8, 2013
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You know how Qualcomm’s chips used to be called the S3, but then last year we started seeing devices featuring chips known as the S4? Chances are you were expecting the S5 to be announced this year, right? Well, we’re sorry to say this, but Qualcomm has gone ahead and switched things up. Instead of having S1, S2, S3, and S4, from now on we’ll be using Snapdragon 200, 400, 600, and 800. The last two have just been announced.

Starting with the 800, it’s built using TSMC’s new 28 nanometer process called HPm. Think of it like a more efficient version of the 28 nanometer process that’s currently being used by the S4 and S4 Pro. The 800 has four Krait 400 processors that can go as high as 2.3 GHz. There’s also a new GPU called the Adreno 330 that’s twice as fast as the Adreno 320. The memory interface gets updated to 800 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, which is said to deliver 12.8 gigabits per second. On the wireless side, LTE speeds get bumped up to 150 megabits per second (maximum theoretical), and 802.11ac support (1 gigabit per second) gets added. The total package should be 75% faster than today’s fastest S4 Pro.

Now as for the 600, it can best be thought of as a lightly tweaked version of the S4 Pro. It has a faster memory interface, faster graphics processor, and the Krait architecture has been rejiggered to deliver more performance at equivalent clock speeds. Speaking about clocks, the Snapdragon 600 should hit 1.9 GHz. When all is said and done, the 600 should be 40% faster than the S4 Pro.

When will these chips come out? The Snapdragon 600 should be in retail devices on store shelves by the end of Q2 of this year. The Snapdragon 800 is going to take a little while longer.

If you want more information, we can’t recommend this article on AnandTech enough. There’s also the whole question of benchmarks. We obviously can’t run those just yet, but as soon as we get our hands on retail hardware, except some pretty charts from us.

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