The new Snapdragon chips that house 1GHz dual-core CPUs are set to be backwards compatible with the software and hardware of older Qualcomm chipsets used on high volume phones, giving low-end smartphone makers the tools to differentiate from their competition.
The two new mobile processors, the MSM8625 and MSM8225, sit in the S4 family of Snapdragon chips, but would be compatible with smartphones designed around the lesser S1 family of chips.
Manufacturers in the cost-effective, high production smartphone market would be able to migrate the phones they have already designed on the older Snapdragon chips directly over to the new chips without having to do any redesigns, instead gaining power and functionality in the shift.
The new chips, set to reach manufacturers in earlier 2012, bring in Qualcomm's Adreno 203 GPU for in-built graphics processing as well as a 3G modem.
Differentiation in the low-end is part of Qualcomm's aim as the company introduces the third generation of its Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) development program in the first half of 2012 to spur creativity.
The development tool is made to enable third party device makers to focus on value-add and differentiating applications to stand out from their competitors by taking care of the legwork on basic smartphone functionality.
The chipmaker's cost-effective and mass-production mentality is part of its customers' focus "to get a new smartphone design to launch quickly and cost effectively, from carrier-ready hardware and software to local technical support resources," said Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management, Cristiano Amon.