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List of Smart Phone and Tablet Mobile Processors

mobile processors
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Today’s smartphone and mobile processors are very powerful, so powerful that it is almost as powerful as a desktop computer. Processors are now coming up with more cores. Initially it was Single core, then came Dual core, we now have Quad core, Hexa core and even Octa core. Most processors are 64 bit now as against 32 bit when it started initially. The processing speed have reached up to 3.0 -3.5 GHz. The ability to include GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) inside mobile processors have enabled devices to churn out the best graphics picture, 3D capability, Virtual Reality capability and 4k recording. The improved processor technology also made today’s modern mobile devices more power efficient.

This article lists some of the most popular mobile processors used in smartphone and tablets. This article was updated on Dec 10th, 2016. There is a quiz in the end of this article. Check your knowledge after completing reading.

Qualcomm Snapdragon

Qualcomm snapdragon 835
Qualcomm Technologies is a US based company. Qualcomm first became a known brand when they introduced CDMA technology in the market. Qualcomm is actively involved in technology related to semiconductor designing for mobile devices, tracking devices, satellite phones, Virtual Reality, wireless charging, communications etc. Qualcomm is now known for its Snapdragon brand which is responsible for releasing mobile processors and LTE modems.

Snapdragon’s first claim to fame in processor market was when it released the first 1 GHz processor, when the average speed of most smartphones was only 512 MHz.

Starting from 2005, Snapdragon went through a lot of series – S1, S2, S3, S4, S200, S400, S600, S800. The processor is going through S800 series as of 2016 end. S800 series already released S800, S801, S805, S808, S810, S820, S821. Most Qualcomm processors in medium to high end phone market is either a S820 or 821. The latest version is S821.

After 821, Qualcomm announced 835 series which will be in market by early quarter of 2017. The chip size is going to be 10 nanometer against 14 nanometer in the previous version S821. The new processor will be 27% faster in performance, consume 40% less power and reducing size by 30%. The new chip is also equipped with Quick Charge 4.0 which can give enough power to your battery to last a day with just 5-10 minute charging.

Some of the devices using Snapdragon 821 are Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Asus Zenfone, OnePlus 3T, Xiaomi Mi 5s, Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus, LeEco Le Pro3.

Pros and Cons of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors

Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are popular with all mobile and tablet manufacturers except Apple.

Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are known for its performance. The processor handles multitasking very well and can handle heavy and intensive processing which is especially good for gaming. The presence of inbuilt Adreno graphics match the performance of processor. Snapdragon processors also produce less heat compared to other processors. Generally Snapdragon processors are costlier than other processors.

Apple Mobile processors

Apple mobile processors
Apple do not manufacture any microprocessors. Instead, they make contracts with processor manufacturing companies mainly Samsung and TSMC for making custom built processors that suits their design and performance expectations. For e.g., A9 14nm processor was built by Samsung, while the A9 16nm version was built by TSMC.

Apple A series is designed for processors to be used on iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch and Apple TV. Some of the processors in the series are A4, A5, A5X, A6, A6X, A7, A8, A8X, A9, A9X and A10.

Apple A10 Fusion is the latest processor which is used in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. A10 is a Quad Core built on 16 nm FinFET process capable of running at 2.4GHz speeds and a Hexa Core PowerVR GPU. Compared to its predecessor A9, A10 is twice faster and improve graphics processing by 50%. The processor is manufactured by TSMC.

Apple S series is designed for processors to be used on Apple Watch. Some of the processes in the series are Apple S1, Apple S1P and Apple S2. The current version Apple S2 is a dual core processor with built in GPS used in Apple Watch Series 2. The processor is manufactured by Samsung under contract from Apple.

Apple W series is used in headphones for wireless audio connectivity. The series is currently in Apple W1 which is used in wireless headphones and AirPods.

Apple T series is designed to use in TouchID sensors in MacBook Pro. The only version released till now is Apple T1.

Intel Atom and Core M processors

intel atom and core m processors
Intel is an American multinational company synonymous with PC and microprocessors. Atom is the brand name given for the low power consuming and low cost 32 and 64 bit chips manufactured for using in smartphones and tablet devices.

Intel processors are based on X86 architecture which is powerful than ARM, but consume more power compared to ARM architecture. Latest versions of Intel processors did improve the power consumption aspect bringing it down to less than 5 watts which is ideal for all mobile devices. Though Atom processors in the beginning supported only Windows, it now supports all major mobile operating systems.

Intel Atom processors are currently in Atom X5 and X7 series. These chips are 64 bit Quad core processors in 14 nanometer size with speeds up to 1.6 GHz that can be scaled up to 2.4 Ghz.

Intel also released Intel Core M microprocessors which are ultra low-voltage designed for ultra-thin notebooks, mobile devices and 2 in 1 convertibles. The processor consume less 4.5 watts or less power making it ideal for long battery life. These are dual core processors with speeds around 1.5Ghz which can be scaled to 3.2 GHz speeds. Intel Core M processors offer 40% boost in CPU and graphics performance than previous versions.

Intel Atom processors are supported by all manufacturers. The latest Atom processor is mainly used in tablet manufacturers from Microsoft Surface, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, HP. As of 2016, Asus ZenFone series is the only smartphone using Atom processor. Core M processors is used in 12-inch Apple MacBook and HP Chromebook.

Nvidia Tegra

nvidia tegra processor
Nvidia Corporation is an American based company technology company which specialize in making processing units for graphics, gaming units and mobile devices. Nvidia develops chips for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices under the brand Tegra.

Tegra processors are built on 64 bit ARM architecture. Tegra till now have gone through Tegra 1, Tegra 3, Tegra 4, Tegra 4i, Tegra K1, Tegra X1. As of end of 2016, Tegra X1 is currently the most advanced Tegra chip in the market. The process is Quad Core with 256 GPU cores capable of 4K video capabilities. The chips are built on 20 nm technology. The processor is currently used in Nvidia SHIELD Android TV.

Tegra processors used in smartphone and tablet markets are mainly Tegra 4, Tegra 4i and Tegra K1.
Tegra 4 is used by Asus Transformer PAD, HP Slatebook, Toshiba Excite, Xiaomi Mi3, XOLO Play Tegra Note.
Tegra 4i is used by Blackphone.
Tegra K1 is used by Nvidia Shield Tablet, Google Nexus 9, Acer Chromebook 13 and 14, Navi Big Tab.

Nvidia have announced Tegra P1 and Nvidia Xavier for release by 2017. First one is going to be Hexa core and the latter Octa core. Both will be built on 16 nm technology.

Pros and Cons of Nvidia Tegra processors

Nvidia Tegra is considered the best when it comes to mobile gaming. The Graphics processing is among the best among all mobile processors. For mobile gaming, Tegra is the best. Tegra have a poor record with heat generation and battery performance. Hopefully, that should improve with the upcoming models. Tegra processors are costlier than other processors.

MediaTek

mediatek mobile processors
MediaTek is a Taiwanese semiconductor company providing chips for mobile devices, HDTV’s and other electronic devices.

MediaTek processors are built on 64 bit ARM architecture. The latest MediaTek processor supports up to 3 GHz speed. They come in variety of cores such as Dual Core (2 core), Quad Core (4 core), Hexa Core (6 core) and Deca Core (10 core).

The latest processor from MediaTek are Helio X20 and Helio X25 which are used in smartphones and tablets. MediaTek processors are mostly popular with Chinese manufacturer. Xiaomi, Meizu, LeEco Le, Yu etc use them on Smartphones. Acer, Asus ,Lenovo, Amazon Fire HD, QMobile are some of the manufacturers that use the processors in their tablets.

The company will be releasing Helio X30 and Helio X27 which will be available in market by first quarter of 2017. They use 10 nm and 20 nm respectively. Both are deca core with 2 dual core and a single dual core built inside the processor.

Pros and Cons of MediaTek processors

Latest processors from MediaTek come with lot of cores. When combined with enough RAM, you can expect easy multi-tasking with good processing power. The PowerVR GPU of MediaTek is better than most of the processors. MediaTek produce less heat than Qualcomm and other processors. MediaTek processors are cheaper and so is the best option for budget devices with good performance.
The latest processpr from MediaTek Helio P25 processor

HiSilicon

hisilicon mobile processors
HiSilicon is a Chinese company specializing in semiconductor technology. The company is owned by Huawei. The company creates chips based on ARM architecture. The company is the largest domestic integrated circuit designer in China.

Some of the processors released by HiSilicon are K3V1, K3V2, K3V2E, Kirin 620, Kirin 650, Kirin 910, Kirin 920, Kirin 930, Kirin 950 and soon to be released Kirin 960.

Some of the devices with Kirin 950 are Honor 8, Huawei mate 8, Huawei MediaPad M3.

Kirin 960 is the model to be released in the series. It is built on 64-bit ARM architecture on 16 nm FinFET technology. The processor is Quad core capable of going up to 2.4GHz. This is also the first processor with Mali-G71 MP8 GPU which is rumored to power soon to be released Galaxy S8. The GPU is rumored to be 180% faster than its predecessor. The processor made great improvement in making sure the battery last longer. There is also a lot of improvement in high LTE download and upload speeds. The processor is rumored to be powerful than Apple A10 Fusion or Snapdragon 820 and 821.

Huawei P10 and Huawei Mate 9 with Kirin 960 will be released anytime by end of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017.

Samsung Exynos

samsung exynos processor
Exynos is a brand of Samsung Electronics which makes processors based on ARM architecture.

Some of the processors in the series are Exynos 7 Dual, Exynos 7420, Exynos 7 Octa 7580, Exynos 7 Octa 7870.

Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is the latest from Exynos. The processor is equipped with Octa Core on 64-bit ARM architecture with Mali GPU. The processor is capable of running at 2.3 GHz speed with support for 3D gaming, 4K UHD resolution support. The chips are 14 nm technology.

Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is used in Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.

Samsung haven’t made any announcements about any new model after Exynos 8 Octa 8890. Latest version of Samsung smartphones and tablets have moved to Snapdragon processors.

Take this Quiz on Smart Phone and Tablet Mobile Processors

Nvidia is a

Nvidia product associated with making chips for mobile devices

The latest processor from Nvidia Tegra used in a smartphone or tablet as of 2016 end

The upcoming processor from Nvidia Tegra as of announced by 2016 end

What architecture is used to build the latest Nvidia Tegra chips

The only Tegra X1 powered smartphone or tablet as of 2016

Qualcomm Technologies is a

Qualcomm company was first recognised for which achievement

What is Snapdragon

The latest processor from Qualcomm Technologies introduced in November 2016 and will be commercially available by 2017

Number of cores in latest processor announced by Qualcomm in 2016

Predecessor of Snapdragon 835

Snapdragon 835 chip size in nanometer (nm)

What architecture is used to build the Qualcomm S835 chips

The company that is manufacturing 10 nm processors for Qualcomm

Quick charge version that comes with Qualcomm S835

The USB charging standard recommended by Google for future smart devices

What GPU is used in S835

The modem used in Qualcomm S835

The theoretical maximum speed that can be achieved using S835 processor

Intel is a

Intel product associated with making chips for tablet and smartphone devices

Latest Intel Atom chip size in nanometer (nm)

Intel Atom is based on which architecture

How many cores does the latest Intel Atom chip

Exynos is based on which architecture

Latest Samsung Exynos process as of 2016

Number of cores in latest Samsung Exynos processor

Latest Exynos chip size in nanometer (nm)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge uses

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About the author: Anup Raman A Tech Enthusiast|Blogger|Tech Trainer with 10+ yrs experience in the field of IT. My expertise are in Operating Systems, mainly Windows and Computer security which comes from my experience, working as Tech Support and Trainer for Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee. Loves blogging about Technical Troubleshooting, discussing latest Gadgets, Games and doing Reviews.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • GowthaM May 16, 2017, 10:32 am

    Great Infos..
    Worth Reading.
    Quiz helps to easy visualizing!!!!

  • ajaz reshi Apr 19, 2017, 6:02 am

    Good information about processors

  • vinayak beldar Apr 6, 2017, 2:44 am

    Thanks a lot for author. Offered such a useful information. It help me to understand different processore and their respective specifications.

  • Confidence Post Feb 10, 2017, 12:50 am

    Thanks a lot for this amazing share. it was really Helpful.

  • Basheer Feb 10, 2017, 12:36 am

    Dear sir. Very good article thanks

  • sudip Jan 31, 2017, 2:07 pm

    Very nice.thank you

  • Venkatesh K Jan 22, 2017, 9:50 am

    I like this page…. it gives lot of information about processor short and clear… Thanks for sharing… with us

  • Augustine Jan 19, 2017, 9:22 am

    Really fantastic

  • Anush Jan 19, 2017, 9:17 am

    Very impressive

  • Sagar Patel Dec 24, 2016, 5:23 am

    Thanks….really very impressive

  • A.Palpandian Dec 10, 2016, 4:58 pm

    above all, the writing is very powerful from start till end.

  • Manoj Jun 25, 2016, 7:05 am

    This is super…

  • Biptya Jun 23, 2016, 1:07 pm

    Thanks Anup!! Really informative! what are productivity tools?

  • Shrikant Dhende May 31, 2016, 2:36 am

    Thanks Anup for sharing such important information.

  • Mobile Hint Mar 24, 2016, 9:38 pm

    thanks for this helpful infos about chipset

  • pravin Nov 21, 2015, 4:25 am

    Thanks….really helpfull..

  • mangesh Oct 24, 2015, 11:46 am

    thnsx itss really good information

  • K. M. SHAHZAD, PAKSTAN Sep 19, 2015, 11:53 am

    Very useful information. Thank you very much.

  • princy Aug 24, 2015, 7:44 am

    really informative

  • Udayaprakash Jun 29, 2015, 7:01 am

    This is very used information greate

  • pushpalatha Jun 5, 2015, 11:48 am

    easy to learn

  • rohit Mar 19, 2015, 6:42 pm

    May I know which processor is good for high speed or high resolution games

    • Anup Raman Mar 20, 2015, 1:54 am

      Any mobile with qualcomm snapdragon quad core, hexa core or hecta core with speeds between 1.5GHz – 2.5GHz speed and a minimum 2GB RAM to support is highly recommended (More RAM, better the performance). Also if the model comes with GPU(Graphics Processing Unit), that is ideal.

  • deep Aug 10, 2014, 3:00 pm

    i thank you and i am satisfied

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