For several years, Qualcomm has placed logos around its technologies. Snapdragon Connect, Snapdragon Sound, Snapdragon Sight, each of these acronyms includes a set of functions to which your product may be entitled. Let’s take a closer look.
As the presentation of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has again proven, Qualcomm has been multiplying new brands around these chips for the past few years. There is Snapdragon Sight for photography or Elite Gaming for video games, and little by little each specialty of the manufacturer seems to have the right to its logo. Sometimes they guarantee real functions, sometimes we are closer to the marketing recipe.
Before tackling the explanations of each brand of Snapdragon, we must quickly explain the marketing strategy behind the idea. Qualcomm most likely draws its inspiration from Intel’s famous Inside, or Ingredient Brand Strategy, as the US processor giant likes to call it. Its principle is quite simple.
The “Intel Inside” marketing idea
At the beginning of the 1980s, the Intel brand was unknown to the battalion. She then had the good idea to create an “Intel Inside” label indicating that her technologies were present in the PC. A way to make the central processor a selling point of the machine and to recognize the Intel brand to the general public.
The same idea is behind the many brands created by Qualcomm in recent years. However, behind the communication, there are also some guarantees that come with these logos. Let’s take a closer look.
The Snapdragon Connect brand is the best defined from Qualcomm. As its name suggests, this label includes everything related to the device’s wireless connections. On smartphones, this logo guarantees the presence of 5G, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. In addition, Qualcomm integrates several in-house technologies such as Signal Boost, Wideband envelope tracking or Smart Transmit, to improve network grip and throughput. In countries where it is available, this label also guarantees compatibility with 5G mmWave.
Qualcomm has published the specifications that brands must follow to benefit from the Snapdragon Connect logo.
This table makes it possible to note that the requirements change according to the type of apparatus. Thus, gaming products or computers with Snapdragon do not benefit from certain Qualcomm technologies. In general, they still retain this compatibility with the latest standards, whether 5G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The Snapdragon Sound brand is a bit special, because this label concerns both smartphones and tablets, but also audio devices such as headphones, speakers or headphones. Here is how Qualcomm defines it: Snapdragon Sound is an optimized chain of audio technologies and software designed to deliver seamless, immersive sound on all devices, whether you’re listening from your wireless headphones, headsets, and speakers, or directly from from your cell phone. »
With Snapdragon Sound, you must in particular have the right to lossless audio, without compression, with the aptX Lossless codec. It is therefore necessary that the two devices, the smartphone and the helmet, benefit from this technology to benefit from it. Snapdragon Sound also integrates spatial sound management and lower latency in video games. Latency caused by Bluetooth is a significant issue in interactive activities like video games.
Unfortunately, Qualcomm does not indicate at any time whether a device with the Snapdragon Sound logo must be compatible with each of these functions or whether manufacturers can make a selection. For example, is using Qualcomm’s optimization to reduce latency enough to be able to obtain this label? Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound devices are due to arrive en masse in 2023. We should see more clearly then.
Snapdragon Sight, for vision in good French, corresponds to the technologies surrounding the processing of photos and videos by the device. On a Snapdragon SoC, we are talking about the ISP which is responsible for communicating with the various photo sensors and executing image improvement algorithms, but also other components related to AI processing.
Under this name, Qualcomm integrates the capacity to manage more than 3 gigapixels per second, that is to say more than 30 photos in 108 Mpx each second. These photos can then be merged by technical processes to create the final shot. This is particularly used by the night modes of our smartphones.
Here again, it is therefore not a question of specifications to be taken by the manufacturer, but rather of a marketing name given to the ISP (Image Signal Processor) to reflect Qualcomm’s recent progress in this area. .
Snapdragon Elite Gaming
The Elite Gaming brand follows a different path than others. It’s more of an initiative than a label. The challenge is to create a mobile game development ecosystem with functions inherited from premium games offered on PC or console. For example, Qualcomm is branding “Snapdragon Elite Gaming” to convince developers of games like Fortnite to offer up to 144 frames per second on its best chips. More recently, Qualcomm announced the arrival of hardware ray tracing in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as part of Snapdragon Elite Gaming. This also involves optimizing the latency of the touch screen and synchronizing the frequency of the game with the screen. Speaking of the screen, Qualcomm also integrates several technologies related to the display which do not necessarily have a direct link with the video game and in particular the management of HDR 10 bits.
Last important element of the initiative: the possibility, as on PC, to update the graphics drivers. This allows Qualcomm to optimize the performance of devices using its chips with new games without waiting for an Android update. Here again, PC gamers are already familiar with this principle and are used to updating their Radeon or GeForce drivers when major games are released.
This name has only been used for a few months. Snapdragon Smart refers to Qualcomm’s investments in artificial intelligence. Here it is a communication element and not a specification.
Qualcomm does not dedicate any documentation related to this logo for the moment. We can still see the logo appear in the presentation of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Like Snapdragon Smart, the Secure brand is not yet widely used by Qualcomm. It naturally designates the firm’s technologies integrated into these chips to better secure the use of the devices. These include the encryption of data on storage, the integration of a secure location for banking data and contactless payment, or the management of the biometrics system (fingerprint reader, facial recognition).