Qualcomm is making headlines today and they have nothing to do with Broadcom. The announcement is of a Snapdragon 710 mobile platform to replace the older 660 platform. A new 700 chipset will make up the new platform to start and will bring high-end features to upcoming mid-range devices. This is a major target of Qualcomm for 2018 and this is a step in the right direction.
We first heard about the Snapdragon 700 SoC at MWC 2018. It’s built using 10nm and contains multi-core AI and neural network processing. Up until now, only 800-level chipsets found in flagships phones had this kind of engineering.
Beneath the skin there’s an octa-core SPU with two Kyro 360 cores running at 2.2GHz and six at 1.7GHz. These will make for better performance than before. Paired with this will be the power of Adreno 616 GPU for better graphics performance. Qualcomm says that users will notice up to a 20% increase in general performance, 25% faster web browsing, 70% faster download speeds in certain areas, and 15% faster app load times. These are all good improvements.
Another area of focus with the platform is to bring better AI applications to more devices. To guide in AI, the Snapdragon 710 platform has been given 40% power consumption for AI games, and support for 4K HDR video playback. Streaming video also now consumes 20% less power according to Qualcomm’s statistics. This might not seem like a lot, but in reality 20% is a significant difference.
Other notable differences and improvements include Quick Charge 4+ (50% battery in 15 minutes). The Snapdragon X15 LTE Modem is also included and supports Cat 15 LTE (800Mbps speeds). There is also the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features such as multicast audio, and the Qualcomm Spectra 250 ISP for better camera quality such as improved low-light performance, better noise reduction, faster auto-focus, enhanced image stabilization, smoother zoom, and more.
Manufacturers are getting the bundle today to start testing upcoming hardware. Qualcomm says we can expect to see many devices with the new platform as early as Q3 2018. Hopefully this means lots of upper mid-range Android handsets getting access to the latest in technology. For now though, it remains to be heard who will adopt the new processor first.