The time for faster mobile processors is nearing, as Qualcomm recently announced its plans to unleash its fourth-generation Snapdragon chipsets to device manufacturers by the end of 2011.

The S4 class of Snapdragon chipsets will be bringing up to 2.5 GHz clock speeds in single-core, dual-core, and quad-core varieties.

This would mean that upcoming Android smartphones and tablets using the Snapdragon S4 chipset family will get processing and performance boosts. Several Android devices today are still using the dual-core Snapdragon S3 (third generation) chips, including the Motorola XOOM, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, HTC myTouch 4G Slide, HTC EVO 3D, and the HTC Jetstream (HTC Puccini).

Tech news site thinq_ quoted Qualcomm vice-president Cristiano Amon as saying that this latest generation of Snapdragon SoCs (System-on-a-Chip) has full connectivity integrated into them, including GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G/LTE.

Amon also told attendees at the Innovation Qualcomm held in Istanbul, Turkey, this week that the first quad-core Snapdragon chipsets will be coming out before this year is over. He also said that consumers can expect the first devices bearing quad-core Snapdragon chipsets to start appearing in early 2012. Amon refused to provide specific dates, however.

Based on 28-nm semiconductor technology, the upcoming chipsets are expected to deliver up to 150% increase in overall performance and up to 65% lower power consumption than most existing CPU cores. The S4 class of Snapdragon chipsets will also come with an up-to-date, faster, quad-core Adreno graphics processing units (GPU) said to provide 15 times better performance than the original Adreno GPU.

Qualcomm’s integration of various technologies into one chipset is its strategy to offer the “best mobile performance at the lowest power consumption.”

One of Qualcomm’s chief competitors, NVIDIA, is also expecting its first quad-cores to come out by the end of the year. NVIDIA’s CEO recently hinted that tablets bearing the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 “Kal-El” processor may start arriving this year and quad-core smartphones coming a little later.

Do you choose your Android handsets on the basis of CPU/chipset manufacturer? Who’s your favorite CPU maker?

Image credit: Qualcomm, thinq_