Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

The History Of Smartphone Processors

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 by | Filed Under: Android, Hardware & Peripherals, iOS, Smartphones
 
Loading...


Smartphone processor technology took another leap forward this June when Qualcomm and Google teamed up to make augmented reality available on smartphones using the Snapdragon 652 SoC Snapdragon 820 chip. The Snapdragon 820, used on cutting-edge devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, is already the most powerful chip on the market, with 15 percent higher speed and lower consumption than its predecessor.

snapdragon

With the addition of augmented reality, the Snapdragon takes another step forward to hint at the future direction of smartphone technology. As smartphone processors continue to advance in sophistication, here’s a look back at how they got to be where they are today, along with a preview of things to come.

Pioneering Processors

The world’s first smartphone, although it wasn’t called that, was the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, which debuted at the 1992 COMDEX computer expo under the code name “Angler.” The Simon combined mobile phone and personal digital assistant capability, allowing it to be used for phone calls, faxes, emails and cellular paging. Powering these features was a Vadem 16 MHz, 16-bit, x86-compatible CPU. Simon sold 50,000 units between 1994 and 1995.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/IBM_Simon_in_leather_case.jpg

In 1996, Nokia introduced the 9000 Communicator, which became the direct ancestor of the smartphone. Like Simon, the Communicator had phone, email and fax features, but it also added word processing, spreadsheets and internet browsing capability. The Communicator ran on its own operating system, GEOS, the predecessor of the Symbian OS. It used an Intel 386 CPU that ran at 33 MHz.

Scaling up

As smartphones gained popularity with enterprise users and then consumers, competition increased, pushing manufacturers to scale up their processing power. The introduction of larger screens with touch screen capability accelerated the need for speed. By 2007, the average smartphone was using a 620 MHz CPU. The first iPhones, introduced that January, ran on a 620 MHz Samsung ARM processor that was underclocked to 412 MHz.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/IPhone6_silver_frontface.png/100px-IPhone6_silver_frontface.png

System on a Chip Processors

The next major step forward came in 2008, when Qualcomm introduced the first System on a Chip (SoC) processor. The QSC7230 processor series, the ancestor of today’s Snapdragon, took the innovative step of placing all the components of a computer on a single chip instead of a traditional motherboard. This enabled more processing power to be fit into a smartphone device without crowding out battery space. The result was more powerful, longer-running smartphones than ever before. A 600 MHz chip could now power functions such as Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and third-party operating systems and cameras.

Ongoing Innovations

The Snapdragon 820 represents the current cutting edge of smartphone chip technology. It uses the new 64-bit Kryo CPU for twice the performance and efficiency of the Snapdragon 810 CPU, which used a different architecture than Qualcomm’s own Krait custom core. The Kryo is part of Qualcomm’s Zeroth cognitive computing platform, designed to more closely emulate the processing of the human brain. With X12 LTE, the Snapdragon is three times faster with 33 percent faster peak download speeds than X10 LTE, featuring downloads of up to 600 Mbps and uplinks of 150 Mpbs.

Snapdragon also uses the Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU for a 40 percent improvement in graphics performance, computing capabilities and power usage compared to its Adreno 430 predecessor. For photos, Snapdragon uses the 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor, enabling smartphone cameras to capture up to 25 megapixels with no shutter lag. With Snapdragon’s new augmented reality capability added onto these features, the next advance in smartphone processor technology has a high hurdle to clear.

~ Jiro

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “The History Of Smartphone Processors”

  1. Chauncey R. Black says:

    The article about the advances with cell/smartphones mentioned faxing with these earlier devices. How can users fax multi-page documents with current smartphones in a way that will completely free them from land-line telephones systems which stand-alone fax machines require? Thank you.

Leave a Reply


Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:

Subscribe

Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup



Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Subscribe


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive


Categories:
Archives: