Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Processor Goes 'Pro'

Paul Lilly

Mobile World Congress is now in full swing, which means an added emphasis on mobile devices and related technology announcements. One of the more interesting to come out of MWC is Qualcomm's unveiling of its upcoming Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960 processor. The S4 Pro adds a bit of graphical kick with an Adreno 320 GPU baked in.

According to Qualcomm, the Adreno 320 GPU offers up to four times better performance, which purportedly pays dividends in everything from simple Web browsing to playing games, and of course smoother scrolling through advanced UIs and improvements to other graphics applications.

"As a result of strong customer demand for Snapdragon S4 processors, we’ve added a new Pro version of MSM8960 to continue delivering the highest performing mobile processors in the industry," said Cristiano Amon , senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm. "By delivering the S4 Pro processor in 2012, we are fulfilling our promise that Snapdragon processors will remain the industry’s barometer for excellence in mobile computing while helping our customers bring the most innovative smartphones and tablets to market."

Adreno 320 brings more multimedia capabilities to Snapdragon, such as computational camera, which gives developers "the ability to tap directly into the computational capability of the Adreno 320 GPU through new APIs like OpenCL," Qualcomm says. The S4 Pro will be capable of more realistic 3D graphic effects though hardware acceleration of advanced rendering features, and it boasts dedicated hardware to accelerate Windows 8. It also fully supports popular game engines from Unity, Epic, and more.

Qualcomm says Snapdragon S4 Pro processors will show up in tablets and notebooks in the second half of 2012.

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