Qualcomm Snapdragon Brand Adopts Tiered System, Ditches Confusing Chipset Names

This morning, Qualcomm announced a bit of an overhaul involving the Snapdragon brand Snapdragon chipsets.In a nutshell, they're moving away from the nearly impossible to remember model numbers such as MSM8260? MSM855T? MSM8930? OMGWTFBBQ? -- toward a tiered system. Now, the company will have four tiers (or "Systems") to begin with: S1, S2, S3, and […]

This morning, Qualcomm announced a bit of an overhaul involving the Snapdragon brand Snapdragon chipsets.

In a nutshell, they're moving away from the nearly impossible to remember model numbers such as MSM8260? MSM855T? MSM8930? OMGWTFBBQ? -- toward a tiered system. Now, the company will have four tiers (or "Systems") to begin with: S1, S2, S3, and S4. The higher the number, the better the specs.

S1, for example, is for "Mass Market" phones -- things on the lower end of what Qualcomm powers (anything 1Ghz or below). Things like the HTC Status, or the Droid Incredible. S2 is for "High Performance Smart Phones & Tablets" (up to 1.4 Ghz) like the HTC Thunderbolt, while S3 is for the current highest-end stuff (up to 1.5Ghz) like the EVO 3D.

S4 encapsulates everything between 1.6 Ghz and 2.5 Ghz -- which, as you may know, doesn't actually include anything just yet. The first devices in this range won't start hitting the shelves until next year at the earliest.

Interestingly, Qualcomm notes that an S2 device will always be considered an S2 device -- S2 won't become S1, S3 won't become S2, etc. It sounds like Qualcomm plans to just keep adding new System tiers as time goes on. Man, S10 is going to be ridiculous.

Here's a look at what's changed:

Old system:

New system: