In a world dominated by quad-core processors headlined by NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 ARM-based CPU, Qualcomm is showing that there is still life left in dual-core processing technology with its dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset in the form of the MSM8960. AnandTech, which recently got a version of the Snapdragon S4 chip for testing and benchmarking, posted promising results of the chip, though it’s still unclear if the S4 will live up to Qualcomm’s claims.
Last year, Qualcomm made the bold claim that its improved dual-core S4 chipsets would outperform quad-core chips made by competitors. Unfortunately, Anantech’s benchmarking does not include results from the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset, which is the main commercially available quad-core ARM-based CPU on the market today. Though Tegra 3 is shipping only on tablets right now–primarily the Asus Transformer Prime–NVIDIA is hosting a press conference at Mobile World Conference to unveil Tegra 3 smartphones.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 is bolstered in performance thanks to a smaller 28 nm architecture, which not only leads to a smaller overall chip size, but also leads to better power efficiency as well.
On the processing performance side, the S4 outperforms dual-core chipsets currently shipping in devices such as the Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid 4, Droid RAZR, Optimus 3D, and others.
On the graphics side, the S4 does only marginally better than current smartphones on the market, beating out performance on Apple’s iPhone 4S . The Adreno 225 GPU that’s packaged with the S4 is said to be slightly better than the Adreno 220 of earlier Snapdragons. Graphics performance will take a big leap with the Adreno 300 GPU according to reports.
At least one phone is rumored to be launching with Qualcomm’s S4 chipset, and that is the HTC Ville, which is also speculated to be heading to T-Mobile USA.
Qualcomm is also promising quad-core chipsets this year as well.