Qualcomm is updating its Snapdragon 600 series lineup with two new chips* that the company says brings camera, audio, video, and connectivity improvements.
Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 660 offers up to 20 percent better CPU performance and up to 30 percent better graphics performance than the Snapdragon 653. But the chips are pin-to-pin compatible, which should make it easy for device makers to switch from the older platform to the new one.
Likewise, the Snapdragon 630 is pin compatible with the Snapdragon 626, but offers up to 30 percent better graphics performance and up to 10 percent better CPU performance, along with modem, image processing, and other improvements.
The new chips are also said to be more energy efficient: Qualcomm says a device with a Snapdragon 660 processor should get up to 2 hours longer battery life than a similar device with a Snapdragon 653. There’s also support for Quick Charge 4 technology, which Qualcomm says can get you up to 5 hours of battery life from a 5 minute charge.
Other changes include a new electronic image stabilization system, improved camera auto focus technology, and support for Bluetooth 5.
To get a bit more technical, here are some of the differences between the Snapdragon 660 and 653:
- Modem has been updated to Qualcomm X12 (updated from X9)
- Qualcomm Kryo 260 custom CPU cores (instead of ARM Cortex-A73/A53)
- Qualcomm Adreno 512 graphics (updated from Adreno 510)
Both chips are 14nm processors with support for up to 8GB of RAM, and support for the Vulkan graphics API. Other features include a Hexagon 680 DSP and Spectra 160 ISP with improved support for processing zoom, bokeh effects, and other photographic effects on phones with dual camera systems.
Qualcomm positions its 600-series chips as “high tier” processors, which means they’ll likely show up in upper mid-range phones and tablets soon, but won’t offer the same level of performance as the Snapdragon 835 platform.
Snapdragon 660-powered devices should hit the streets this quarter, while the Snapdragon 630 is coming at the end of the month, with devices featuring the new processor expected to ship in Q3, 2017.
*I’m sorry, these aren’t chips, they’re “mobile platforms.”