It was announced back in February that Qualcomm, makers of fine mobile processors, would be releasing its Snapdragon S4 processor in the later half of the year. They also used it as an excuse to announce the S4 Pro that would offer more performance while still retaining the same architecture as the S4. The S4 Pro launched today alongside three other S4 processors that are designed for different platforms.
Before the S4, Qualcomm made powerful processors for tablets and smartphones. While they will still focus on this market with the S4 series, the company is also looking at expanding into the PC and smart TV markets. The four tiers of S4 processors help it take advantage of the strengths that each platform provides.
The S4 Pro was the first to be announced this year and it's the most versatile of the S4 line. The S4 Pro will bring power to PCs, tablets and high-end smartphones. Qualcomm is labeling it as a "computing-class processor" but it will be featured in Windows 8 PCs. It remains to be seen if these will be the processors that power Windows RT, but it's probably a good guess as Intel and AMD still have a stranglehold on the x64 and x86 Windows environments.
The S4 Prime is Qualcomm's first foray into the Smart TV realm. The company says that the process was designed to bring "high performance applications, web browsers and connectivity." The processor will be seen in actual television units as well as set-top boxes.
The largest range of S4 processors come from the S4 Plus line. As expected, this line of processors will be powering the majority of smartphones and tablets that use the Snapdragon architecture. It just means that if your phone is powered by an S4 processor, it's probably going to be an S4 Plus.
The final tier may be last, but don't cout it out just yet. The S4 Play will be the driving force behind the huge high-volume smartphone market. It's a good move by Qualcomm to move into the cheap smartphone market as well as the high-end. The S4 Play should be a big hit for the company.
It should be noted that the four descriptors - Pro, Prime, Plus and Play - will be used to describe future Qualcomm products as well. The company wants their hand in a little of everything and these new descriptors should make it easier for consumers to know what kind of Snapdragon processor is powering their device.