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Snapdragon Processors


Published on Apr 19, 2020

Abstract

Snapdragon is a suite of system on a chip (SoC) Semiconductor products for mobile devices designed and marketed by QualcommTechnologies Inc. The Snapdragon central processing unit (CPU) uses the ARM RISC instruction set. A single SoC may include multiple CPU Cores, a graphics processing unit (GPU), a wireless modem, and other software and hardware to support a smartphone's global positioning system (GPS), camera, gesture recognition and video.

Snapdragon semiconductors are embedded in devices of various systems, including Android and Windows Phone devices.[1] They are also used for netbooks, in cars, wearable devices and other devices. In addition to the processors, the Snapdragon line includes modems, wi-fi chips and mobile charging products.

The first Snapdragon product to be made available to consumer device manufacturers was the QSD8250, which was released in November 2007. It included the first 1 GHz processor for mobile phones. Qualcomm introduced its "Krait" microarchitecture in the second generation of Snapdragon SoCs in 2011, allowing each processor core to adjust its speed based on the device's needs. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Qualcomm introduced the first of the Snapdragon 800 series and renamed prior models as the 200, 400 and 600 series. Several new iterations have been introduced since, such as the Snapdragon 805, 810, 615 and 410. Qualcomm re-branded its modem products under the Snapdragon name in December 2014. As of 2018, ASUS, HP and Lenovo have begun selling laptops with Snapdragon-based CPUs running Windows 10 under the name "Always Connected PCs", marking an entry into the PC market for Qualcomm and the ARM architecture.

What is ARM Architecture

ARM, previously Advanced RISC Machine, originally Acorn RISC Machine, is a family of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architectures for computer processors, configured for various environments. Arm Holdings develops the architecture and licenses it to other companies, who design their own products that implement one of those architectures—including systems-on-chips (SoC) and systems-on-modules (SoM) that incorporate memory, interfaces, radios, etc. It also designs cores that implement this instruction setand licenses these designs to a number of companies that incorporate those core designs into their own products.

Processors that have a RISC architecture typically require fewer transistors than those with a complex instruction set computing (CISC) architecture (such as the x86 processors found in most personal computers), which improves cost, power consumption, and heat dissipation. These characteristics are desirable for light, portable, battery-powered devices—including smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, and other embedded systems. For supercomputers, which consume large amounts of electricity, ARM could also be a power-efficient solution

What is Snapdragon?

Snapdragon SoC is a powerful smart processor. The Snapdragon CPU, dubbed from Scorpion . First on 28nm process technology[Latest is 14nm] . First Fully Integrated 3G/4G . Uses ARM instruction set .Superior CPU performance [in modem, graphics, power efficiency performance]. SNAPDRAGON Processors Are Complete Solutions to Real-time Demands. Users Can do Everything They Want and Get the Battery Life They Crave . Smartly Integrated . Complete System Approach . Broad Chipset Roadmap

Snapdragon Processors

Versions of Snapdr

• Snapdragon S1

• Snapdragon S2

• Snapdragon S3

• Snapdragon S4

Snapdragon S1

   Semiconductor Technology

65 nm/45 nm

    CPU instruction set

ARMv6/ARMv7

   CPU Speed

From 528 MHz, Up to 1 GHz

   CPU

ARM11,Cortex-A5 and Scorpion

  CPU Cache Type

L2

  CPU Cache

Max 256 KB

  GPU

Adreno 200

  GPU Support

2D support

  RAM Technology

200 MHz LPDDR1

  RAM Speed

200 MHz

  Bluetooth

-

Snapdragon S2

 Semiconductor Technology

65 nm/45 nm

 CPU instruction set

ARMv6/ARMv7

 CPU Speed

From 528 MHz, Up to 1 GHz

 CPU

ARM11,Cortex-A5 and Scorpion

 CPU Cache Type

L2

 CPU Cache

Max 256 KB

 GPU

Adreno 200

 GPU Support

2D support

 RAM Technology

200 MHz LPDDR1

 RAM Speed

200 MHz

 Bluetooth

-

Snapdragon S3

 Semiconductor Technology

45 nm

 CPU instruction set

ARMv7

 CPU Speed

Up to 1.7 GHz

 CPU

Dual-core Scorpion

 CPU Cache Type

L2

 CPU Cache

L2 512 KB

 GPU

Adreno 220

 GPU Support

2D support

 RAM Technology

Single-channel
500 MHz/333 MHz LPDDR2

 RAM Speed

200 MHz

 Bluetooth

-

Snapdragon S4

 Semiconductor Technology

45 nm/28 nm LP

 CPU instruction set

ARMv7

 CPU Speed

Up to 1.7 GHz

 CPU

Dual-core Krait/quad-core Krait

 CPU Cache Type

L0, L1, L2

 CPU Cache

Upto 2MB

 GPU

Quad-core Adreno 320

 GPU Support

FHD/1080p and FWVGA/720p

 RAM Technology

Dual-channel 500 MHz LPDDR2

 RAM Speed

200 MHz

 Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.0

Features of Snapdragon S4

MULTICORE SUBSYSTEM

KRAIT CPU

IT is an second generation CPU.Independent clock and voltage (aSMP).It has 25–40% power improvement.It Reduced complexity It has the New circuit techniques
It works on Low power micro-architecture .It has 32bit address bus and 2x32 bit memory bus.It consist of mainly 2 types of Cache memory..An 32Kb of L1 Cache and 2Mb of L2 cache.It consisit of 11 stages of pipeline depth and 7 Execution Ports

MODEM SUBSYSTEM

Industry’s first fully integrated 3G/4G world/multimode LTE Modem .It is designed for speed, compatibility and power savings.It has an flexible connectivity

It consist of an 4.0 Blutooth,FM,GPS,WI-FI

MULTIMEDIA SUBSYSTEM

ADRENO EMBEDDED GPU

Adreno is a series of graphics processing unit (GPU) semiconductor intellectual property cores developed by Qualcomm and used in a variety of their SoCs. The core was initially developed under the Imageon brand name by ATI Technologies, which was acquired by AMD in 2006. After AMD sold the division in January 2009,Qualcomm renamed the Imageon products to Adreno, an anagram of Radeon.

HEXAGON DSP

Digital Signal Processor based Architecture .Designed to deliver performance with low power

3 Cores –

i. one in Multimedia subsystem

ii. two in Modem subsystem

iii. Multimedia core – allowed to be programmed by user

Audio/Video HW Subsystem

VIDEO - 1080 High-definition video recording and playback up to 30 frames per second, Stereoscopic 3D playback .AUDIO - Surround sound stereo speakers, 7 microphones .CAMERA - Up to 21 Megapixel, 3 camera support, 3D capture, playback, output up to 1080p .DISPLAY- Up to HD1080 (1920x1080), True multi-touch capacitive touch screen

PROS

A Dedicated Security chip

Even though we commonly use the term processor when referring to chips like the Snapdragon 845, it’s kind of a misnomer. That because these chips are actually comprised of multiple processors that combine to form what is more accurately known as a system on a chip (or SoC). In previous generations, we’ve seen Qualcomm include dedicated processors such as an ISP (image signal processors) or DSP (digital signal processor) for handling photos and videos. However, the Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm’s first SoC to have an SPU (secure processing unit), which is a new subsystem designed to protect data about your fingerprints, iris, mobile payments, SIM, and more.

Soon, anytime you do something like take a picture or download a document, an SPU will generate a unique key that is required to decrypt the data in the file. The SPU can even be used to generate keys for text messages in apps like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. And unlike other co-processors on the Snapdragon 845, the SPU is isolated from other systems to help prevent hacking.

4K HDR Video Capture and Better Slow Mo

While high-dynamic range videos are becoming more popular, actually shooting in HDR is something that’s better left to pros. However, that could change soon as the Snapdragon 845's image signal processor will be able to capture 4K HDR video at up to 60 fps. That should result in clips with better contrast, more vibrant colors, and better details. Slow-motion video will also get a boost, now that the SD 845 can record 480 fps at 720p, or 240 fps at 1080P.

More Mature Machine Learning

If you tuned in to the Pixel 2 announcement back in the fall, you ’d have seen Google CEO Sundar Pichai spend 15 minutes talking about the importance of machine learning in mobiles devices. So with the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm is looking to enhance AI-based visual recognition with the Hexagon 685 digital signal processor. On top of being able to handle traditional image processing duties and serving as a sensor hub for all your fingerprint, iris, and face scanners that might be on your phone, the Hexagon 685 should more efficiently analyze and identify objects seen by your phone’s camera.

Improved Performance and Graphics

Pure performance improvements aren’t always the most exciting thing to talk about, but it’s nice to know that Qualcomm is promising its new chip will be 25 to 30 percent faster than the current Snapdragon 835. Much of the heavy lifting comes from the eight new Kryo 385 CPU cores, which features four A75 cores that run at up to 2.8 GHz (up from 2.4 GHz on the SD 835) and four A55 efficiency cores to take care of less intense tasks and increase battery life

When it comes to graphics, Qualcomm says the new Adreno 630 GPU is both 30 percent faster and 30 percent more power efficient than the Snapdragon 835's Adreno 540. The main benefit of this extra performance will be seen when using the Adreno 630 to power mobile VR experiences like a Gear VR or Google Daydream. And when combined with Qualcomm’s new Multiview rendering, the Snapdragon 845 should be able to hit 120 fps at 2K x 2K resolutions.

Faster Wi-Fi and Prepping for Gigabit LTE

One of the big buzzwords around smartphones is the upcoming transition to 5G networks, which promises gigabit bandwidths so you can watch all the Netflix you want in high quality, no matter where you are. So on the Snapdragon 845, you’ll get Qualcomm’s latest X20 LTE modem which supports speeds up to 1.2 Gbps, along with 802.11 AD Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth 5.0 tuned specifically to make wireless earbuds work better.

Of course, since the Snapdragon 845 probably won’t make it into actual devices until next spring at the earliest, we’re still a long ways out from seeing if Qualcomm’s next big chip can live up to its promises. Right now, the Xiaomi Mi 7 is the only phone officially slated to feature the Snapdragon 845, but if the future is anything like the past, the SD 845 will also be in Samsung’s, LG’s, and Google’s phones in 2018.

Conclusion

Benchmark tests of the Snapdragon 800's processor by PC Magazine found that its processing power was comparable to similar products from Nvidia. Benchmarks of the Snapdragon 805 found that the Adreno 420 GPU resulted in a 40 percent improvement in graphics processing over the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 800, though there were only slight differences in processor benchmarks. Benchmarks of the Snapdragon 801 inside an HTC One found a "bump all around" in benchmark improvements over the 800. In 2015, Samsung's decision not to use the Snapdragon 810 in its Galaxy S6 had a significant detrimental impact on Snapdragon's revenues and reputation. Benchmark tests by Ars Technica confirmed rumors that the 810 under-performed lower-end models and had overheating issues. A Qualcomm spokesperson said these tests were done with early versions of the 810 that weren't ready for commercial use. An updated version was released and was found to moderately improve thermal throttling, GPU clock speeds, memory latency, and memory bandwidth when tested in a commercial product, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. Additionally, the 820/821, 835 and 845 performed substantially better. Qualcomm led the industry in sustained GPU performance and perf/W from the release of the 820 until the release of the Apple A12

REFERENCES

• "Find Snapdragon Smartphones, Tablets and Smart Devices". Qualcomm. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

• "ARM is going after Intel with new chip roadmap through 2020". Windows Central. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

• "Always Connected PCs, Extended Battery Life 4G LTE Laptops | Windows". www.microsoft.com. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

• "Snapdragon seeds Qualcomm's future". Electronic Engineering Times. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

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