Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 has been launched as the company's first 4-series mobile platform with 5G support. The new system-on-chip (SoC) is specifically designed to bring 5G connectivity to the affordable, mass-volume smartphone segment. Qualcomm announced the development of its Snapdragon 480 SoC in September. The chipset comes as a successor to the Snapdragon 460 SoC that debuted in January last year with Wi-Fi 6 and NavIC support. The Snapdragon 480 includes the Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System that supports both millimetre wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz networks.
The first smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 480 5G SoC are expected to launch in early 2021, Qualcomm announced through a press statement. The San Diego-based company is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including HMD Global, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo to bring the devices based on the new SoC to the market. The rumour mill has already suggested that Vivo Y31s and Motorola Ibiza could be amongst the early models.
Unlike the recently debuted Snapdragon 888 SoC that is based on the 5nm architecture, the Snapdragon 480 SoC is built on the 8nm process. This is, however, a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 460 SoC that was based on 11nm architecture. The new SoC comes with eight cores of Kryo 460 CPU clocked at up to 2GHz, along with Adreno 619 GPU that can deliver two times improvement when compared with the Snapdragon 460 SoC. Qualcomm also noted that the Adreno 619 GPU particularly offers over 100 percent improvement over the Adreno 610 GPU available on the previous Snapdragon SoC.
The Snapdragon 480 SoC includes Hexagon 686 digital signal processor (DSP) that works along with the integrated CPU and GPU to deliver over 70 percent AI performance boost over the predecessor. There is also Qualcomm Sensing Hub for supporting artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms at low power and fusing contextual data streams including sensors, audio, and voice.
In terms of connectivity, the Snapdragon 480 SoC features Snapdragon X51 modem that brings 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz connectivity on standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes. The modem also supports global multi-SIM 5G access and includes multimode support with 5G New Radio (NR) and LTE connectivity. Qualcomm has provided its FastConnect 6200 system that offers dual Wi-Fi antennas with support for Wi-Fi 6. The system also brings Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. There is also support for Galileo, GLONASS, NavIC, GPS, GNSS, QZSS, and SBAS for enabling location-based services.
The Snapdragon 480 SoC supports eMMC and UFS 2.2 storage, 2x16GB LP4x RAM at a frequency of 2133MHz. There is also near-field communication (NFC) support.
For an enhanced viewing experience on devices based on the Snapdragon 480 SoC, Qualcomm has offered up to full-HD+ (1,080x2,520 pixels) display support along with up to 120Hz refresh rate. The SoC also includes Qualcomm Spectra 345 image signal processor (ISP) that brings support for an up to 13-megapixel triple rear camera setup with 30fps, zero-shutter lag and multi-frame noise reduction. It can also work with a dual camera configuration that includes an up to 25-megapixel primary sensor and a 13-megapixel secondary sensor.
The new Snapdragon SoC includes the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec as well as Qualcomm aptX audio. There is also support for Qualcomm Charge 4+ to deliver faster charging experiences over the Snapdragon 460 SoC that had support for Quick Charge 3.0.
“The Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform will exceed OEM's and consumer's expectations in delivering high- and mid-tier features at an affordable price,” said Kedar Kondap, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies.
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