It says a Snapdragon is more than a single component, a piece of silicon, or what many would misinterpret as the CPU; it’s an anthology of technology, comprising hardware, software, and services that are not fully captured in a word like “processor.” That is why Qualcomm Technologies is refining its terminology by referring to Snapdragon as a “platform” instead of a processor.
While the single processor form factor is truly a system-on-a-chip (SoC), housing custom technology like an integrated modem, CPU, GPU (graphics processor), and DSP (digital signal processor), ISP (image signal processors) there is a lot more going on outside of the chip that is designed to ultimately support a wide variety of devices.
Technologies from the RF Front End — LTE modems and TruSignal without which a mobile device wouldn’t be able to acquire a signal, make a phone call, or surf the web, — to Qualcomm Quick Charge, the Qualcomm Aqstic audio DAC, Wi-Fi (802.11ac/ad and later ax), touch controllers, fingerprint technology, and Haven security, are all engineered to work together with the SoC to deliver a superior and smooth user experience.
It helps Qualcomm better demonstrate the overall value of a chip, beyond “speeds and feeds.” It better acknowledges those who have done extensive work on the entire platform and key acquisitions that Qualcomm Technologies has made to bolster its position in the semiconductor industry.
This is an interesting move, not “seismic” but one that may help Qualcomm distance its products from the plethora of other ARM foundries that are edging into the smartphone turf, usually competing on speeds and feeds – raw performance instead of across the broad range of things a platform does.
It should allow Qualcomm to show added value of a Snapdragon platform over any other processor.