At an event in New Delhi, India, Qualcomm unveiled three new Snapdragon systems-on-a-chip (SoC) with a focus on 4G, Wi-Fi 6, gaming and more.
Most of the company’s high-end flagship chips, such as the 865 announced at the Snapdragon Tech Summit in December 2019, are all about 5G. But these new chips won’t be in the next top-of-the-line smartphone. Instead, these 4G chips will bring new connectivity features to the mid-range and below.
To start, Qualcomm positioned the new Snapdragon 720G, built on an 8nm process, as an excellent entertainment processor. It boasts HDR for gaming and video with dynamic colour ranger and contrast. It also has the new Spectra 350L image signal processor (ISP) that supports up to 4K video capture or 192-megapixel photos capture.
Further, the 720G includes the latest fifth-gen Qualcomm AI Engine with the improved Hexagon Tensor Accelerator. Qualcomm says the AI solution enables intelligent gaming, photography, voice assistants and more.
On the connectivity end, the 720G sports an integrated Snapdragon X15 LTE modem, which supports three-carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO on two carriers and 256-QAM modulation for download speeds up to 800Mbps. On the Wi-Fi side, the built-in FastConnect 6200 subsystem doubles Wi-Fi speed and range compared to single antenna devices, according to Qualcomm. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Target Wake Time for up to 67 percent better power efficiency, Bluetooth 5.1 and more.
Snapdragon 662 and 460
Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 662, which brings new camera and AI capabilities to the company’s 6-series chips for the first time. It features the Spectra 340T, which supports triple camera configurations as well as smooth switching between the camera — a first for the 6-series. The ISP supports the HEIF file format as well.
Combined with the third-gen Qualcomm AI Engine, the ISP supports AI-based user experiences like avatars, night photography, as well as face and voice authentication. The X11 LTE modem boasts peak download speeds up to 390Mbps and 150Mbps peak uploads.
Further, Qualcomm says its new Snapdragon 460 is a significant performance boost for its 4-series processors. For the first time in a 4-series processor, the 460 features performance CPU cores and an updated GPU architecture, which translates to up to 70 percent and 60 percent increases in performance respectively. Additionally, overall system performance is two times faster than the previous generation.
Also for the first time, Qualcomm introduced its Hexagon processor with ‘Hexagon Vector eXtensions’ (HVX) to the 4-series. Along with the Qualcomm Sensing Hub, the 460 enables new AI experiences for photography and voice assistance. Finally, the 460 sports the Spectra 340 ISP for capturing photos along with the X11 modem seen in the 662.
Qualcomm expects devices based on the 720G to be commercially available in Q1 2020, while devices based on the 662 and 460 will be commercially available by the end of 2020.
My passion for tech started with my first iPod and has carried through smartphones and computers of all kinds. Android is my jam, but I get excited for anything cool that happens in tech. I also enjoy gaming, building my own computers and digging into how things work.