Qualcomm has announced two new chipsets that slot into its S4 Snapdragon lineup: the MSM8625 and MSM8225. Both are dual-core chips capable of clock speeds up to 1GHz and integrate an Adreno 203 GPU along with a 3G modem. Those specs won't blow your hair back by today's — or even yesterday's — standards, but the likely intention here is to bring a little more speed to lower-end devices. To that end, Qualcomm has made the chipsets both hardware and software compatible with its S1 line, so hardware manufacturers can theoretically just swap in the faster processors into existing designs.
Along with the chipsets, the company also is re-launching its Qualcomm Reference Design program with a "comprehensive set of software and hardware components" that are pre-tested for Qualcomm's chips to help accelerate the design process. Qualcomm hopes that will mean both higher volumes and wider differentiation in the smartphone market.
The new chips and reference design should be available in the first half of 2012 for manufacturers.