Qualcomm has announced two new mobile platforms Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 on Tuesday, May 9. The two new system-on-chip (SoC) which are an upgrade to last year’s mid-tier processor Snapdragon 653 and Snapdragon 625 are designed to offer improved power, enhanced battery life, faster connectivity and more. The processors with premium features and performance will definitely enhance the new mid-range smartphones.
In order to help the new platforms stand apart from their predecessors, Qualcomm has added features that were previously found in the 800 series. The all-new Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 incorporate the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem that was seen in the Qualcomm’s previous flagship Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 processor. The X12 LTE modem provides fast LTE connectivity and supports download speed of up to 600Mbps. Other than this the new processors include Qualcomm Spectra camera ISP, Qualcomm Kyro CPU, and Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX).
Let us take a look at how these features will improve performance for smartphones that use either of the two new SoCs
The new Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 fabricated on 14nm FinFET technology has Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP (Image Signal Processor) which support cameras that capture up to 24-megapixels single ISP images with no shutter lag. Additionally, the new ISP will offer quick autofocus and eliminate artificial colours in the images.
The new mobile platforms also come integrated with 4K video and playback that will enable users to record high-definition videos at 30 frames per second from their devices. Supporting processor support dual camera setup of up to 13MP and 16MP sensors, these new SoCs are equipped with Qualcomm’s smooth optical zoom and improved image processing in low-light condition.
The Hexagon Vector eXtension in the Snapdragon 660 mobile platform is crafted to support advanced camera performance, efficient image processing and computer vision tasks.
Apart from the X12 LTE modem, Qualcomm has brought an advanced RF End Support to these new mobile platforms. The RF Front End element includes TruSignal adaptive antenna technology with carrier aggregation. In simple words, this feature optimises the signal quality on the user’s device to deliver better voice and data even in remote areas.
Additionally, the Snapdragon 660 processor will come with 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity that will support up to ‘2X the data throughput’ and offer clutter-free streaming and faster download. The processors also support Bluetooth 5 which can double a device’s transfer speed and increase 4 times the Bluetooth range. It has LPDDR4 RAM as well which minimalises power consumption and improves bandwidth.
Powerhouse and performance upgrade
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 are engineered to deliver better battery life and optimise a device’s performance as well. These new platforms come integrated with Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology, a sensor hub that collects data and processes information without harnessing the phone’s battery life. This will enable devices to track location. Both the processors come with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 which will be 30 percent more efficient and 20 percent faster than its predecessors. Qualcomm says that the with five minutes of charging the Quick Charge 4.0 will be able to offer 5 hours of talk time and increase the battery power up to 50 percent within 15 minutes. Additionally, Quick Charge 4.0 also supports USB-PD, a fast charging standard that Google has been pushing hard.
In addition, the new mobile platforms have also had their CPU and GPU clocks upgraded. The Snapdragon 660 processor is integrated with an octa-core configuration, Kyro 260 CPU, which will contribute to 20 percent improvement in performance compared to the Snapdragon 653 SoC. Besides the new processor is paired with Adreno 512 GPU that will offer up to 30 percent improvement in performance.
The Snapdragon 630 meanwhile is paired with Adreno 508 GPU, which is said to support 3D graphics rendering and up to 30 percent improvement in performance than the Adreno 506 GPU. The eight-core CPU is designed to deliver 10 percent better performance compared to the Snapdragon 625 processor.
Interestingly, Qualcomm has added a significant feature on its new mobile platforms. These new processors support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK, that will deliver a new experience with machine learning. With the SDK, the developers will have the flexibility to create applications or features to improve facial recognition, voice and language detection, object tracking. The SDK is designed to support complex neural networks, LSTMs (Long Short-Term Memory) etc.
The two new SoC by Qualcomm bring not just performance improvements, but also incorporate an overall improved feature-set. Devices that will run on the new Snapdragon 660 or the Snapdragon 630 will offer faster speeds in both data and processing, but also theoretically better battery life.