Qualcomm Brings High-Tier Features to Mid-Tier Smartphones

Mid-tier chipsets add Cat 7 LTE, 4K video, wideband carrier aggregation
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Mid-tier chipsets add Cat 7 LTE, 4K video, wideband carrier aggregation

San Diego – New Snapdragon smartphone processors unveiled by Qualcomm will bring top-end features to the mid-tier segment and upgrade the capabilities of high-volume mobile devices, the company said.

Qualcomm is bringing an octa-core processor and Category 7 X8 LTE modem to its 400 series of chipsets for high-volume devices for the first time through the Snapdragon 425 chipset. LTE Cat 7 technology delivers downlink speeds up to 300Mbps and uplink speeds up to 100Mbps. The modem also supports wide-band (up to 40MHz) downlink and uplink carrier aggregation, also available for the first time in this class of chipsets. The model also offers single-SKU global multimode LTE and support for LTE Broadcast, dual LTE SIMs, and VoLTE (Voice over LTE).

The 425’s Adreno 405 GPU and eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs support 1080p video capture and playback along with hardware HEVC decoder.

The Snapdragon 415 processor, targeted to the most price-conscious users of high-volume devices, also brings an octa-core processor to this chipset class for the first time. Its offers X5 LTE modem, supporting download speeds up to 150Mbps. The chipset also features eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores, Adreno 405 GPU, and full HD 1080p capture and playback like the 425.

Mid tier: For mid-tier devices, the Snapdragon 620 and 618 also feature X8 LTE modem, bringing wideband up/down carrier aggregation to the 600-series chipset class for the first time.

The two chipsets also include features previously available only in the top-end Snapdragon 800 chipsets, including cameras with dual ISP (image signal processor), 4K video capture and playback, HEVC hardware encoding, Qualcomm Adreno graphics, and advanced Wi-Fi connectivity, the company said.

Both chipsets also support 192kHz/24bit music playback and twin 13-megapixel cameras with gyro image stabilization, enhanced autofocus, and local tone mapping. The latter is said to improve image quality beyond HDR.

The 600-series chipsets also support Quad HD displays and wireless full-HD streaming.

The 620 combines 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 CPUs and Cortex-A53 cores, while the 618 features two ARM Cortex-A72 cores paired with quad Cortex-A53 CPUs.

Their Hexagon DSP sensor engine supports real-time, always-on use cases for motion, location, health and environmental sensing, minimizing the need for an external sensor hub, the company said.

The Snapdragon 415 chipset is expected to be in commercial devices in the first half. The Snapdragon 620, 618 and 425 processors are expected to be in commercial devices in the second half.

"We are excited to announce the Snapdragon 620 and 618 processors with next-generation graphics, camera, 4K video capture and connectivity, all premium tier features previously only found in our Snapdragon 800 class products,” said Alex Katouzian, SVP of product management. “The Snapdragon 620 and 618 also both come with X8 LTE, as does the Snapdragon 425, marking the first time we've supported this amazingly fast speed at the 400 tier."


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