Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU family expands past phones to HDTVs, tablets and Windows 8 PCs

Sure Qualcomm has snagged quite the coup by sliding some of its dual-core S4 CPUs into the US-bound Galaxy S IIIs, but it's not stopping there. The company just revealed versions of these chips will power connected HDTVs and set-top boxes as well as PCs and Windows 8 (including Windows Phone 8) devices. There's four tiers of the upcoming processors: Prime, Pro, Plus and Play. S4 Prime is the smart TV platform that includes the MPQ8064 1.5GHz quad-core CPU with Adreno 320 graphics, while S4 Pro processors are ready to be the brains of Windows RT tablets, laptops and tablet / laptop combos. S4 Plus is the high-end smartphone experience we've come to associate with the Snapdragon brand, and finally S4 Play for more entry level mobile devices. Check after the break for more info on the chips in each family and details on what they can do, and our hands on with some S4 powered Windows 8 devices right here.

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The new portfolio includes the following processor classes:
• Prime – Snapdragon S4 Prime processors will power the next wave of enhanced smart TV experiences - including leading audio/video capabilities, pure web browsing and more robust applications - delivering on Qualcomm's commitment of keeping consumers continuously connected to their favorite devices, content and apps. Processors in the S4 Prime tier include the Snapdragon S4 Prime MPQ8064 processor, featuring a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU - based on Qualcomm's Krait micro-architecture - Adreno™ 320 graphics and advanced audio/video capabilities, delivering mobile users the highest performing mobile experience while consuming less power.

• Pro – Snapdragon S4 Pro processors feature the Adreno 320 GPU and support for higher resolution displays, as well as hardware and software compatibility with the S4 class. The Adreno 320 is a high performance programmable GPU, providing a superior 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 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. 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. Processors in the S4 Pro tier include APQ8064 and MSM8960T (the Pro version of MSM8960).

• Plus – Snapdragon S4 Plus processors bring outstanding application processing and leading-edge 3G and 4G internet connection speeds, allowing OEMs to introduce S4-based devices with next-generation mobile architecture throughout their respective device roadmaps - from basic smartphones to high-end smartphones and tablets. The enhanced S4 processors also are optimized for use with a suite of software solutions available from Qualcomm that help enable OEMs to deliver industry-leading feature sets for multimedia, connectivity, camera, display, security, power management, browsing and natural user interface design. Processors in the S4 Plus tier include MSM8960, APQ8060A, MSM8660A, MSM8260A, APQ8030, MSM8930, MSM8630, MSM8230, MSM8627 and MSM8227.

• Play – Snapdragon S4 Play Processors are designed specifically for high-volume smartphones. Processors in the S4 Play tier include MSM8625 and MSM8225. Both chipsets provide dual-core CPUs operating up to 1.2 GHz, Qualcomm's Adreno 203 GPU and an integrated 3G modem. The MSM8625 and MSM8225 chipsets are designed to be hardware and software compatible with the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A family of chipsets, giving device manufacturers the ability to seamlessly migrate their existing Snapdragon S1-based designs to S4 dual core-based designs. This capability is particularly useful for device manufacturers to efficiently expand their smartphone product lines with more advanced and more capable 3G smartphone products.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU family expands past phones to HDTVs, tablets and Windows 8 PCs