Mar 02 AT 4:51 PM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

Qualcomm shows off GPU performance of new dual-core Snapdragon

Qualcomm has taken their sweet time getting their first mobile dual-core Snapdragon processor into devices, but the added time could result in an extra boost in performance and more power savings. In the latest post on the Qualcomm OnQ blog, Graphics Product Manager Brent Sammons says that their new Adreno 220 graphics processor “offers twice the performance of the GPU in other leading dual-core ARM9-based chips.”

To showcase the console quality graphics that Adreno 220 can produce, Qualcomm is sharing a teaser video for Desert Winds produced by Swedish studio Southern Interactive. The game demo is the same one that Qualcomm showed me at CES and Mobile World Congress, but it has looked a little better each time I have seen it.

Qualcomm says they will continue to promote Desert Winds as a flagship game in order to show off the advanced capabilities of the Adreno 220 GPU and improve it “with more 3D effects, smoother stereoscopic HD gaming, market-leading performance, and industry leading power-efficient 3D graphics.”

We have yet see the first Android smartphone to include a dual-core Snapdragon, but that should finally change by the end of this month when CTIA is held in Orlando. Hopefully HTC will surprise us and announce the Pyramid for multiple carriers.

I’m glad to see Qualcomm is continuing to promote their Snapdragon brand and focus on more premium content for their devices. They say over 100 games are optimized for Snapdragon and Adreno graphics and I hope we see them showcase them in a program┬ásimilar┬áto NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone.

Check out the teaser video below and let us know what you think. I suggest visiting YouTube and watching it in the full 1080p because that’s what new games could look like on a dual-core Snapdragon device when it’s docked to your high-definition TV.

How do you think the Adreno 220 GPU will stack up with the competition?

Via: Qualcomm Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website dagamer34

    As great as these graphics are, one thing that really needs to be worked on is better control schemes. Touchscreen gaming is great, but trying to port the experience of the Xbox 360 or PSP onto a platform with no hardware controls often leaves me frustrated.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I think the solution for traditional, console-style games is a standard wireless controller that can be connected to Android devices. I know they already make some small bluetooth ones, but we need just a solid gamepad that has an easy API for Android devs.

      • http://Website MedioGringo

        No no no! The best solution is to plug into your HDTV via HDMI and for your handset to transform into a game controller!

        Come on, that’s a good idea right? I’d be surprised if no one is working on this.

        • http://ohai.im/k1ngcor3y k1ngcor3y

          A game controller that you cannot take your eyes off of because its touchscreen and is where you actually play the game…. makes the whole controller idea seem pointless

          • http://Website MedioGringo

            ….and that’s why no one’s working on this. Damn, I thought I was on to something =)

          • http://Website o.O

            buttons w. haptic feedback?

        • http://Website jojo

          i’m pretty sure the optimus 2X can do that, i’ve seen a demo of a guy using the phone as a controller and it connected to a hdmi screen……..

        • http://Website Name (required)

          It has been done for the EVO.

        • http://Website CTown

          I don’t know if HDMI allows for that but you still need a protocol (hopefully wireless) to communicate with the other devices, not just sending a video stream to a TV .

        • http://Website Jordan

          Well I can do that with my evo… I plug my HDMI into my tv, load up SNESoid and I either have the option to use the phone as the controller, synch my WiiMote to the phone using WiiMote Control APP and then I have a good game pad and im playing through HDMI and all from my Android device.. Lendary

      • http://Website xBIGREDDx

        The PS3 controller uses Bluetooth, and it’s already been used to control games on the N900.
        The Xperia PLAY will probably bring with it some sort of API for use of the phone’s hardware buttons, so that’s covered too.

        • http://Website xBIGREDDx

          Apparently the Nintendo Classic Controller for the Wii also has been used on at least the Droid X, and probably others.

      • Ray
    • http://Website DROID Sam

      That’s wherephones like the XPERIA Play come into action. I know the recently annoucned XPERIA play still has last year’s second gen processor but I’m sure they will release a followup next year with something a lot more powerful.

    • http://Website mark

      Have you used a device yet with Gyroscope???

      Its the answer, because I don’t want to use a phone such as the xperia play, as the extra buttons makes it too thick of a phone for me.

  • Galen20K

    Freakin’ Awesome!! Eagerly awaiting this kind of graphics performance on my htc Pyramid. : )

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

    Very cool.
    I think Nvidia has done a good job of getting support behind the Tegra platform, so I don’t think we’ll see people flock to qualcomm, but no doubt most apps will work on both.

    • http://Website ari-free

      At least games on snapdragon won’t have dumbed down lowest common denominator graphics

      • http://Website Lucian Armasu

        Still looks like last year’s graphics to me (Infinity Blade?). Tegra 3 will leave Adreno 220 in the dust.

  • http://Website AceoStar

    Taylor, dude, im dying for your Atrix review article. Glad to have you back :D

    • http://Website Fishstick

      Hopefully you won’t wait as long as we have been waiting for the Optimus 2X review! Taylor’s reviews are great but the 2X is long overdue.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        I don’t normally review phones because I’m unhappy with the traditional review format. But I’m working on an idea to fix that.

  • http://Website heeros

    I’m a little disappointed in the mechanical movement of the character, it could be more realistic. I think they should have fixed that before adding the boob bounce.

    • http://Website A_C

      Besides, the character does not have shadow?!

    • http://Website Wade

      Nothing in that video made me want to run out and buy anything.

  • http://bit.ly/samirsshah Samir Shah

    To Apple/Qualcomm/Nvidia. I want GPU in my smartphone/tablet to work as hard as CPU. That means in browsers, screen transitions and many other tasks apart from Games, something like what Windows Phone 7 does with the previous generation of Snapdragon.

  • http://Website jjank

    Why do we have to focus so much on gaming on smartphones, its kind of ridiculous. Apart from games like Angry Birds or simple puzzle games it is just not that exciting no matter how good it might look or play. Why can’t we just have this processing power go in to making our phones operating system performance, optimization and whatnot much better. How about making much better antennas in smartphones!?!?!?!? or putting in more features? So many smartphones have reception issues or have trouble using cell and data at the same time…why can’t we get that fixed??

  • http://Website Ric

    Is nobody worried about what all these “optimised” games for specific chips means for android gaming??

    If desert winds and all tegra zone games dont work equally as well on snapdragon2/tegra2/exynos/omap, it’s going to RUIN developer confidence as they’ll have to try and guess which phones (i.e. processors) are likely to be most numerous and decide whether they develop for that…or not at all :-(

    And what happens if you buy a flagship phone only to find no devs support your chipset and you’re stuck with ‘normal’ games!?

    • rstat1

      This is no different than the console gaming market today. Or for that matter even the PC gaming market.

      So am I worried? Nope not at all.

  • http://pinoydroid.net Android in the Philippines

    in the next 2 to 3 years time, we will see console powered by Android and SoCs….

  • http://www.MiiWiiChat.com Player911

    Well gaming has always had to deal with various processors, GPU’s, and technology. The mobile phone is becoming the next PC. Developers on the mobile platforms should not be lazy if they want to make a quality game.

    I don’t understand why they can’t do what PC developers have done since the beginning of time; Low Quality, Medium Quality, High Quality, Resolution, etc. It’s called a Settings menu. Pick your settings that best suite your device.

    What about OpenGL and DirectX for a mobile platform… a middle man. Developers can write code for a “middle man” and the GPU designers make them compatible with the new technology.

    I think PC’s still use this model. Why aren’t they with these SuperPhones?

    • http://Website Ray

      I completely agree with you.
      Put system requirements on your apps like Tegra Zone apps have labeled. Also, allow the user to select the graphic resolution on an application if their system lags.

    • rstat1

      “Open GL for a mobile platform” already exists, and has since before Android ever existed. It’s called Open GL ES

  1. dagamer34Guest 4 years ago

    As great as these graphics are, one thing that really needs to be worked on is better control schemes. Touchscreen gaming is great, but trying to port the experience of the Xbox 360 or PSP onto a platform with no hardware controls often leaves me frustrated.

    • I think the solution for traditional, console-style games is a standard wireless controller that can be connected to Android devices. I know they already make some small bluetooth ones, but we need just a solid gamepad that has an easy API for Android devs.

      • MedioGringoGuest 4 years ago

        No no no! The best solution is to plug into your HDTV via HDMI and for your handset to transform into a game controller!

        Come on, that’s a good idea right? I’d be surprised if no one is working on this.

        • k1ngcor3yGuest 4 years ago

          A game controller that you cannot take your eyes off of because its touchscreen and is where you actually play the game…. makes the whole controller idea seem pointless

        • jojoGuest 4 years ago

          i’m pretty sure the optimus 2X can do that, i’ve seen a demo of a guy using the phone as a controller and it connected to a hdmi screen……..

        • Name (required)Guest 4 years ago

          It has been done for the EVO.

        • CTownGuest 4 years ago

          I don’t know if HDMI allows for that but you still need a protocol (hopefully wireless) to communicate with the other devices, not just sending a video stream to a TV .

        • JordanGuest 4 years ago

          Well I can do that with my evo… I plug my HDMI into my tv, load up SNESoid and I either have the option to use the phone as the controller, synch my WiiMote to the phone using WiiMote Control APP and then I have a good game pad and im playing through HDMI and all from my Android device.. Lendary

      • xBIGREDDxGuest 4 years ago

        The PS3 controller uses Bluetooth, and it’s already been used to control games on the N900.
        The Xperia PLAY will probably bring with it some sort of API for use of the phone’s hardware buttons, so that’s covered too.

        • xBIGREDDxGuest 4 years ago

          Apparently the Nintendo Classic Controller for the Wii also has been used on at least the Droid X, and probably others.

    • DROID SamGuest 4 years ago

      That’s wherephones like the XPERIA Play come into action. I know the recently annoucned XPERIA play still has last year’s second gen processor but I’m sure they will release a followup next year with something a lot more powerful.

    • markGuest 4 years ago

      Have you used a device yet with Gyroscope???

      Its the answer, because I don’t want to use a phone such as the xperia play, as the extra buttons makes it too thick of a phone for me.

  2. Freakin’ Awesome!! Eagerly awaiting this kind of graphics performance on my htc Pyramid. : )

  3. Very cool.
    I think Nvidia has done a good job of getting support behind the Tegra platform, so I don’t think we’ll see people flock to qualcomm, but no doubt most apps will work on both.

    • ari-freeGuest 4 years ago

      At least games on snapdragon won’t have dumbed down lowest common denominator graphics

      • Lucian ArmasuGuest 4 years ago

        Still looks like last year’s graphics to me (Infinity Blade?). Tegra 3 will leave Adreno 220 in the dust.

  4. AceoStarGuest 4 years ago

    Taylor, dude, im dying for your Atrix review article. Glad to have you back :D

  5. heerosGuest 4 years ago

    I’m a little disappointed in the mechanical movement of the character, it could be more realistic. I think they should have fixed that before adding the boob bounce.

  6. Samir ShahGuest 4 years ago

    To Apple/Qualcomm/Nvidia. I want GPU in my smartphone/tablet to work as hard as CPU. That means in browsers, screen transitions and many other tasks apart from Games, something like what Windows Phone 7 does with the previous generation of Snapdragon.

  7. jjankGuest 4 years ago

    Why do we have to focus so much on gaming on smartphones, its kind of ridiculous. Apart from games like Angry Birds or simple puzzle games it is just not that exciting no matter how good it might look or play. Why can’t we just have this processing power go in to making our phones operating system performance, optimization and whatnot much better. How about making much better antennas in smartphones!?!?!?!? or putting in more features? So many smartphones have reception issues or have trouble using cell and data at the same time…why can’t we get that fixed??

  8. RicGuest 4 years ago

    Is nobody worried about what all these “optimised” games for specific chips means for android gaming??

    If desert winds and all tegra zone games dont work equally as well on snapdragon2/tegra2/exynos/omap, it’s going to RUIN developer confidence as they’ll have to try and guess which phones (i.e. processors) are likely to be most numerous and decide whether they develop for that…or not at all :-(

    And what happens if you buy a flagship phone only to find no devs support your chipset and you’re stuck with ‘normal’ games!?

    • rstat1Guest 4 years ago

      This is no different than the console gaming market today. Or for that matter even the PC gaming market.

      So am I worried? Nope not at all.

  9. Android in the PhilippinesGuest 4 years ago

    in the next 2 to 3 years time, we will see console powered by Android and SoCs….

  10. Player911Guest 4 years ago

    Well gaming has always had to deal with various processors, GPU’s, and technology. The mobile phone is becoming the next PC. Developers on the mobile platforms should not be lazy if they want to make a quality game.

    I don’t understand why they can’t do what PC developers have done since the beginning of time; Low Quality, Medium Quality, High Quality, Resolution, etc. It’s called a Settings menu. Pick your settings that best suite your device.

    What about OpenGL and DirectX for a mobile platform… a middle man. Developers can write code for a “middle man” and the GPU designers make them compatible with the new technology.

    I think PC’s still use this model. Why aren’t they with these SuperPhones?

    • RayGuest 4 years ago

      I completely agree with you.
      Put system requirements on your apps like Tegra Zone apps have labeled. Also, allow the user to select the graphic resolution on an application if their system lags.

    • rstat1Guest 4 years ago

      “Open GL for a mobile platform” already exists, and has since before Android ever existed. It’s called Open GL ES