QSD8250, QSD8650, MSM8255. What do these letters and numbers mean to you? Probably not much unless you’re a chipset nerd like us, who spends a lot of time reading Qualcomm’s Wikipedia page. But for the average consumer (or even the average techie) these weird model numbers couldn’t be more meaningless. And that’s a problem. In today’s world, even chipset makers like Qualcomm need to market their products to the average consumer.
In order to that, Qualcomm will now start to classify its Snapdragon chips by systems. In the S1 category we have last-gen 1 GHz chips that power mass market smartphones. On the S2 tier we have single-core high performance chips that run at speeds of up to 1.4 GHz. Moving on to dual-core processors, we have the S3 chips, which can run at speeds of 1.5 GHz. Devices powered by S3 chips include the HTC EVO 3D and Sensation 4G. Finally, we have the S4 system. This include those Krait-based chips that will arrive early next year. With up to 2.5 GHz speeds and four CPUs, these are the chips you want to keep an eye out for.
Once Qualcomm announces new chips, they’ll be branded as S6, S7, S8 and so on. S1 chips will always be S1 chips. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some sweet 5 GHz 16-core S10 goodness.
While this “rebranding” doesn’t necessarily kill the old model numbers, it’ll certainly make it much easier to compare Snapdragon chips to each other. You’ll know that, if you have a S4 chip inside your device, it’ll most likely be superior to your friend’s S3-powered phone.
Having said that, I don’t see my mom or dad bragging about their Snapdragon S3 phones anytime soon. But hey, at least we chipset enthusiasts will be able to keep our sanity from now on.