Snapdragon S3 Chipset for the Windows 7 Phone

by John Merson (Admin) 12. November 2011 14:29

The house that Qualcomm has built seems to continue to gain more ground in the mobile processing world with every product they release. Of course I am talking about the Snapdragon chipset. My biggest criticism to the Windows 7 Phone when it launched was in the tune of hardware. Great innovation of software and user experience package however the hardware was greatly lacking. I was very unimpressed at the launch lineup of phones.  This is no longer the case for the new lineup of Windows 7 Phones.

Windows 7 Phone delivers the software innovation while Qualcomm delivers innovation in the hardware realm. This team of hardware and software promises to be the exceptional level of integration between hardware, software, and services. Yeah that was so the sales and marketing version of it but the tech looks very promising.

The generation of the Snapdragon chipset platform (S2) will find its way into every new Windows 7 Phone. This chipset has much to boast about and is self-proclaiming it as a “system on a chip that delivers on unprecedented combination of processing performance and optimized power consumption.” with directly built-in support for Power Management, Multimedia, Radio Frequencies (RF), Software/ High Level Operating System (HLOS), Memory, Connectivity, CPU, GPU, GPS, MODEM, and Digital Signal Processors (DSP). Quite impressive feats from this dual-core processor which proudly represents superior battery and power management.

The integrated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is by far the item I am most interested in. Like all Snapdragon processors this one has the integrated Adreno Graphics Processor Unit. This chipset will ship with the Adreno 205 GPU chip which boasts impressive 3D graphic numbers and support.

I would hope to see the S3 chipsets in future phones (Q3 and Q4 of 2012) which boasts the Adreno 220 GPU. It also boasts an 88 million triangles per second benchmark. Think about that for a second... This Smartphone GPU can process 147% more triangles then the Wii can, making it by far more powerful than the Wii (in both graphic processing power and CPU power).

What is even more exciting is the next generation of chipsets for Snapdragon. The next generation which will be labeled as the S4 (the chipsets in the Windows 7 Phones initially will be the S2 and we all want the phone to see the S3 chipsets used by the end of 2012). The S4 will be quite impressive according to this whitepaper by Qualcomm. The S4 chipset already has a huge focus on its Adreno 225 and 320 GPU which fully supports DirectX 9.3 for Windows 8. How much you want to bet future lines of Window 7/8 Phones will continue to use Snapdragon chipsets?

The future looks bright.

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1/17/2012 7:21:01 PM #


I can't wait to see a windows phone 7 powered by an S3 or even S4 one day. But I am disappointed to find out the Nokia Lumia 900 phone, which I really want, only has a S2 chip including the Adreno 205 GPU.

Any thoughts?

GirthDiggler United States | Reply

1/25/2012 5:17:02 PM #

John Merson

Well this does not surprise me. It is typical that some manufactures will go back and purchase older technology for many different reasons (cost, delivery time lines, size, power consumption, etc) and it looks like Nokia did that at least for the price of the phone.

There is a lot of talk that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be priced to sell at 99.00 dollars. One has to consider that this is why they are using the S2 chipset at 1.4GHz. You get what you pay for.

If you are sold on the S3 chipset I would recommend the HTC Titan (currently my favorite WP7).

John Merson United States | Reply

1/25/2012 5:29:42 PM #


The Titan and Titan II are also an S2. There are no S3 powered windows phones that have been announced yet anywhere that I can find.  
I guess they are going to skip S3 all together and release phones based off the S4.  The S4 is supposed to be a beast.  With the recent news that Windows Phone 8 WILL BE based off the windows 8 NT kernel, the S4 CPU would be a good choice for a windows phone 8 device since it's by default a multicore system cpu system, and that windows nt kernel is optimized for multicore cpu's. The question is will the hardware manufacturers put the cash into such a beast of a CPU, or will that affect their bottom line too much, and make them go with an S3 for windows phone 8????
Certainly I see the S4 in a tablet but will it be in a phone???!!!  I sure hope so!

GirthDiggler United States | Reply

1/26/2012 7:55:43 PM #

John Merson

Interesting, I was going to disagree with you and post the specs on the HTC Titan (which states that the processor is a 1.5 GHz) and then post the S2 spec that states it only supports up to 1.4 GHz and that the S3 would support the 1.5 GHz processor on the Titan. Which is not true, comes to find out I misunderstood the white paper I was reading.

However I found the spec page for the Snapdragon specs on Qualcomm's website (found here and it is a S2 phone. On top of that you are also correct that there is no current Windows 7 Phone that have the S3 chipset.

I guess I need to eat some humble pie and edit my post. I hate misinformation. Sorry about that!

The problem about new technology is that it is not proven and that many large corporations will stay away from new Tech until it's proven (the risk is too high for them). While I would love to see a WP7 with a S4 APQ8064 that has the 2.5Ghz triple core processors I would bet the next step for MS would be to use the S2 and S3 chipsets until the S4 has proven itself.

But like you said, and I would tend to agree... They are going to be in tablets for a long time before they are in phones.

John Merson United States | Reply

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