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Qualcomm launches refreshed entry-level and mid-range SoCs

In brief: Qualcomm announced four new SoCs, updating its entry-level and mid-range offerings. Some bring a simple clock speed bump, like the Snapdragon 480+ and the 778G+, but the Snapdragon 680 and 695 feature incremental upgrades over their predecessors, such as a new process node and mmWave 5G support.

Although Qualcomm is the go-to solution for high-end SoCs for Android phones, Mediatek’s market share keeps increasing due to its presence in the entry-level and mid-range segments. Qualcomm will be refreshing its lineup with four new chipsets to better compete in these markets, including two enhanced versions of chips currently available. Three of them offer 5G support, but there’s also a 4G-only SoC.

The Snapdragon 778G+ will be an enhanced version of the original 778G, featuring 8x Kryo 670 CPU cores (6nm node) that can boost up to 2.5GHz, up from 2.4GHz, and the Adreno 642L GPU, which Qualcomm promises to offer 20 percent higher performance than its predecessor. All other specifications remain the same, including the X53 5G modem, AI capabilities, and triple ISP (Spectra 570L).

Based on the Snapdragon 690, the Snapdragon 695 brings mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G support, adding a new 5G alternative to the mid-range. Compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 695 delivers 30 percent faster graphics rendering with its Adreno 619L GPU and 15 percent more CPU performance thanks to the 8x Kryo 660 cores based on the 6nm node.

The Snapdragon 680 is the only 4G SoC out of the bunch, packing the Snapdragon X11 LTE modem. Like the other chips, it’s also based on the 6nm node, featuring 8x Kryo 265 cores, the Adreno 610 GPU, FastConnect 6100 subsystem, Spectra 346 triple ISP, and QC3 support.

Lastly, there’s the Snapdragon 480+, which is an enhanced Snapdragon 480, as the name implies. Besides the bump in clock speeds from 2.0GHz to 2.2GHz in the 8x Kryo 460 cores (8nm node), it also brings an X51 modem, providing sub-6 and mmWave 5G support. The GPU remains the same Adreno 619, as well as the triple ISP, a Spectra 345.

Multiple companies showed their interest in using these SoCs in the future, including HMD Global (Nokia), Honor, Motorola, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi. We should see the first devices powered by Qualcomm’s new SoCs later this year or in early 2022.

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