QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON S4 TEARS UP COMPETITION
QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON S4 - Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 is one of the most promising new generation of SoC. But what are its benefits? The first benchmark conducted have yielded unexpected results and superior performance from 20 to 240% compared to the current SoC.
We thought we knew almost all of Qualcomm SoC Krait, better known under the trade nameSnapdragon S4. Made with 28 nm manufacturing process, and with dual core ARM Cortex A9with a 1.5 GHz clock rate and Adreno graphics subsystem, the System on a Chip also offers several other enhancements, including for example the integration of a module for wireless 4G LTE , which can further decrease the consumption of the system, and support not only the GPS network but also to Russia’s GLONASS , thus offering a better fixing, faster and more precise. The SoC also integrates also an ISP (Image Signal Processor) of new generation, which we have talked a few days ago , and able to offer advanced features such as support for stereoscopic images and video and the ability to perform encoding and decoding of video streams in Full HD 1080p and 30 frames per second.
Even thought we knew enough of the performance and prospects were very bleak. A few weeks ago it had appeared in the net score of Adreno 225 GPU , integrated in the model S4 Snapdragon MSM8960, which showed really high computing power. But we knew little of the processor itself. Once again, however we thought the staff at Anandtech , which was some time ago had been able to test the lower model , MSM8660, equipped with Adreno 220 GPU.
At the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2012 in fact the overseas colleagues in the newsroom received a copy of smartphones normally intended for developers to test the potential of the hardware, based on Qualcomm MSM8960 MDP (Mobile Development Platform) and could thus play some benchmarks. Before commetare the extraordinary results obtained by this SoC, it is important to remember that although Krait 2 adopts ARM Cortex A9 core like many other competitors on the scene, it is not always the same processors. ARM fact granted the rights to the architecture, but each manufacturer may make changes or not, and those of Qualcomm are substantial and significant.
First, the manufacturing process has passed from the original 40 nm to 28 nm, with good effects on energy savings, but are the specs inside to make a difference compared to the standard Cortex A9. The pipeline of the latter are for example in 8 stages, while those of the Krait rose to 11, the decoding is of type 3-wide instead of 2-wide. The FPU, the floating point unit, is more developed, being of type VFPv4 pipelined, while in the Cortex A9 is an optional type VFPv3. Changes for the memory controller, the first being a two-way 32-bit memory support LPDDR2, while all other SoCs in circulation are of single channel. The NEON Media Processing Engine, which handles the extensions to support the vector calculation is also more potent, having a bus to 128 bits instead of 64, also in the Cortex A9 this module is optional, so it is not always present in other implementations. Finally, the frequency was increased, passing from the original 1.2/1.3 GHz to 1.5 GHz So, bearing in mind the overall picture we now see in detail the results.
With the Linpack test, a synthetic benchmark for the evaluation of bandwidth and floating point performance, the results obtained dall’MSM8960 are simply awesome. The SoC Qualcomm is in fact able to offer a minimum of twice the performance compared to any SoC currently on the market. Even the benchmark SunSpider and Browsermark show considerable scope for improvement on the part of this SoC even if in this case with no differences of the order of those seen before, but still significant.
Qualcomm Krait is about 20/35% faster than Cortex A9 used eg in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.Vellamo instead is a tool of the same Qualcomm, which serves to evaluate the performance of the system, the CPU and the browser, and also in this case the detachment of the competition is enormous. With regard to the CPU, then with Anandtech closes Basemark OS 1.1 RC, which head always the system as a whole and also in this case there returns results in which, depending on the items, the Snapdragon MSMS8960 is scoring higher scores between 20 and 80% compared to any current SoC.
Colleagues are eventually passed on to test the GPU Adreno 225 which, for the record, is capable of computing capacity of 12.8 GFLOPS at a frequency of 200 MHz and even 19.2 GFLOPS at 300 MHz as compared to the GPU as NVIDIA Tegra 3, with the same frequencies reaches respectively 4.8 and 7.2 GFLOPS. The results obtained with the bench GLBenchmark RightWare Basemark ES 2.1 and 2.0 V1 were both very good and the true nature of the GPU has emerged, it is clear, for instance by comparing the results to the native resolution of 960 x 640 pixels from the PowerVR SGX543MP2, the GPU, which equips the Apple iPhone 4S, and the 225th Adreno 1024 x 600 pixels. The first fact has stood the test in the two scenarios, respectively, 16.62 and 30.17 FPS, while the Adeno clocked 40.57 and 59.58 FPS.
The results are extremely promising, therefore, now you just have to wait a few days to see action in 2012 in Barcelona all’MWC some new smartphone based on this powerful hardware platform.
Posted in Hardware