Chipmaker Qualcomm today unveiled new Snapdragon 625, 435 and 425 processors aimed at delivering premium user experiences. The new system-on-chip products set the stage for mobile devices that leverage custom technology for cameras, gaming, video and connectivity in the smartphone world.
Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, explained the company develops all of its processor technologies “with scalability in mind.” The idea is to get to market faster with the technologies that meet rising consumer demands.
Supporting Innovative Features
All three new Snapdragon processors include support for the 802.11ac standard, LTE with carrier aggregation, dual camera image signal processors, and Qualcomm TruSignal technology that works to improve the reliability of phone calls.
The processors also offer Snapdragon All Mode, enabling transceiver support for all major cellular technologies. Qualcomm Hexagon DSP drives more power efficient audio and sensors that meet Android M sensor requirements, according to the company. And Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 aims to charge up to 75 percent faster than its predecessor.
“Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon solutions demonstrate the company's continuing focus on supporting innovative features and customer experience,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us. “That's certainly important from a competitive standpoint, and should also help keep the company in good stead as it deals with various business and financial challenges.”
A Holding Pattern
Diving deeper into the technology, the Snapdragon 625 is the first processor in the lineup to tap into 14nm FinFET (fin-shaped field effect transistor) technology, which lowers power consumption by 35 percent. The processor includes an octa-core ARM Cortext-A53 CPU and comes equipped with an X9 LTE modem to support 4G-plus. That means users can achieve speeds of 150 Mbps, which is three times as fast as traditional LTE devices.
Positioned as first in its class to integrate the X8 LTE modem that supports 4G-plus, the Snapdragon 435 also carries the octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU. The chip offers up to 300 Mbps downloading and 100 Mbps uploading and supports 1080p user interface with 60 frames a second. This chip also carries the Adreno 505 GPU for PC-class graphics.
Finally, the entry point chip in the set, the Snapdragon 425, offers a 64-bit quad core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, an Adreno 308 GPU, and HD display at 60 frames per-second. It also carries an integrated X6 LTE model with upload speeds of 75 Mbps with 64-QAM, which sets the stage for lower-cost smartphones in emerging markets.
“The advanced camera, video, gaming and connectivity technologies featured in the new chips also provide an interesting snapshot of where things stand in consumer smartphones,” King said. “At this point, the market for handheld devices, including smartphones is in something of a holding pattern, focusing mainly on improved photo/video capture and playback, and enhanced gaming performance rather than supporting new kinds of applications and processes. But as what were once "premium" experience become increasingly mainstream, it will increase pressure on Qualcomm and other component manufacturers.”
Qualcomm expects to start sampling the SoC products mid-year. They could appear in commercial devices as soon as the second half of this year.
Image Credit: All Qualcomm Snapdragon illustrations via Qualcomm.
Image credit: Product shot by Qualcomm.