During the Qualcomm keynote at Mobile World Congress today, company President Cristiano Amon announced the Snapdragon 700 family of mobile processors targeted at a tier, expectedly, between the flagship 800-series and the mid-range 600-series.
Qualcomm was more than a little light on specifics of this new chipset, what technology it is going to differentiate with as it squeezes in the middle of the two opposing chip families, and what performance levels we should expect. What we do know is that Qualcomm wants to bridge the gap between the 600 and 800 SoC with additional “features and performance” for the 700-series. Qualcomm tells us that we should expect advances over the 600-series to include “on-device AI supported by the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, and improvements to camera, device performance and power, supported by the heterogeneous compute power of premium features including the Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Hexagon Vector Processor and Qualcomm Adreno Visual Processing subsystem.”
Well, that…kind of covers most everything that makes up the feature set of the Snapdragon 845. What we are going to be looking for now as more information is revealed is what degree the advancements in those areas reach when compared to the already announced Snapdragon 600 parts.
Qualcomm does confirm in its press release that the 700-series of mobile platforms will utilize a Kryo CPU design, as opposed to a completely off-the-shelf Arm Cortex processor. In fact, Qualcomm states that it “will debut new architectures across the mobile platform, including Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Kryo CPU and Adreno Visual Processing subsystem,” leading me to believe we will see some slightly cut back, slightly slower version of what already exists in the Snapdragon 845 today.
This division makes sense if we assume Qualcomm is going to move this direction rather than having a significant gap in Snapdragon 600-series parts, as it it has done previously. The current lineup in the 600-family has a model that uses Kryo and another that uses standard Arm cores. Rebranding that higher end 600-series part as the 700-family makes it more relatable to the technology changes inside.
No specifics on the LTE modem that is integrated were given.
The primary target for this new chipset family is the Chinese smartphone market, where they demand flagship-level features but have less of an appetite to absorb flagship-level pricing. Qualcomm is probably going to use the 700-series to nearly match the performance and capabilities of the 800-series in those regions, choosing to earn additional market share (and revenue) over pushing for raw profits with customers that might choose to ignore the 800-series due to pricing.
Sampling of the Snapdragon 700 Series Mobile Platform will start sometime in the first half of this year, and hopefully we will learn more on the specifications of these products before summer.
Full press release after the break.
Qualcomm Introduces New Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series
– New Series Designed to Allow Global OEMs, Especially in China, to Deliver Premium Features, such
as On-Device Artificial Intelligence, in High-Tier Smartphones –
BARCELONA — February 27, 2018 — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM)
announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced the new
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 700 Mobile Platform Series, designed to exceed what is expected from today’s high-tier mobile experiences, with features and performance previously only available in the premium Snapdragon 800 Mobile Platform Series. Advances to be expected in the 700 Series include on-device AI supported by the Qualcomm® Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, and improvements to camera, device performance and power, supported by the heterogeneous compute power of premium features including the Qualcomm Spectra™ ISP,
Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU, Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Vector Processor and Qualcomm® Adreno™ Visual Processing subsystem.
“The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series will bring premium tier technologies and features into more affordable devices, something our global OEM customers and consumers are demanding,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies. “From our cutting-edge Qualcomm AI Engine, to superior camera, device performance and power, the Snapdragon 700 Series is optimized to support the experiences consumers have come to expect from the most advanced mobile devices at a lower price point.”
The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series is engineered to offer advancements in:
AI: Snapdragon 700 Series products will come with the multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine delivering up to 2x improvements for on-device AI applications compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform. Through heterogeneous computing, the 700 Series new architectures– the Hexagon Vector Processor, Adreno Visual Processing subsystem, and Kryo CPU– work cooperatively making it effortless to capture and share videos, learn voice and speech and make your device last on a single charge without changing applications or settings.
Camera: The Snapdragon 700 Series will unleash the limitless power of the Qualcomm Spectra ISP and make you love capturing your life experiences during all parts of the day and night, in slow-motion, or with the help of AI. Expect a multitude of additional professional grade camera features, supported by high quality specs, to reside in the 700 Series.
Performance and Battery: The Snapdragon 700 Series will debut new architectures across the mobile platform, including Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Kryo CPU and Adreno Visual Processing subsystem, which will offer up to 30% improvements in power efficiency, and better performance and battery life across numerous applications compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform. 700 Series products will also benefit from Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+ technology, engineered to get up to 50% charge in only 15 minutes*.
Connectivity: The Snapdragon 700 Tier will feature an advanced suite of wireless technologies with ultra-fast LTE, carrier Wi-Fi features, as well as enhanced Bluetooth 5 multicast audio and ultra-low power wireless earbud support.
Commercial samples of the first Snapdragon 700 Series Mobile Platforms are anticipated to ship to customers 1H 2018. For more information please visit www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon
*Based on internal tests charging a 2750mAh fast charge battery and using the maximum power for a thermal limit of 40C for all charging implementations. Charge time based on 0% to 50% utilizing 2017 charging Implementations (September 2016). Certain Snapdragon mobile platforms are designed to allow devices to support 50% battery life with 15 minutes charging. Actual results may vary depending on device design
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