Qualcomm on Tuesday at its Snapdragon Tech Day event in Singapore announced its all-new Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 mobile platforms. The all-new platforms are successors to the company's already popular Snapdragon 625 and Snapdragon 653 platforms. As previously announced, Qualcomm will market the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 as mobile platforms and not processors.
Both the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 platforms are based on a 14nm FinFET process and provide 4K video capture and playback capabilities, along with 8GB maximum memory and Vulkan API support. Additionally, the Snapdragon 660 mobile platform supports displays up to QHD (2K) resolution, whereas the 630 supports FHD/QXGA (1080p).
The company at the launch claimed that the new Snapdragon 600-tier platforms bring "advanced photography and enhanced gaming." Additionally, the new platforms also claimed to bring extended battery life alongside fast LTE speeds.
Announcing the new mobile platforms, Kedar Kondap, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies confirmed that the Snapdragon 660 mobile platform is now shipping while the Snapdragon 630 mobile platform will begin shipping towards the end of this month.
Kondap also added that the new platforms bring Kryo CPU, X12 modem, and machine learning algorithm for the first time to the 600-tier mobile platforms. Commercial devices powered by Snapdragon 660 can be expected to be unveiled by end of June while Snapdragon 630 devices can be expected to be announced in Q3. Both platforms also feature Bluetooth 5 support, which doubles the amount of data that devices can transfer compared to the previous iteration.
The latest 600-tier chipsets also bring the Qualcomm Spectra 160, touted as a premium camera ISP which supports improved photographic image quality for "more natural skin tones, superior low light photography," as well as better power efficiency and higher throughput for dual camera smartphones. The Spectra 160 will enable chipset to support features like smooth optical zoom, bokeh effect, dual pixel autofocus, and improved camcorder video stabilisation.
The Snapdragon 660 will come with a Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP featuring vector extensions (HVX) enabling "efficient processing of imaging, computer vision, and machine intelligence workloads" The company at the launch explained that the Hexagon 680 DSP will enable devices powered by Snapdragon 660 to provide always-on contextual experiences despite utilising low power.
For connectivity, both the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 feature Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem, paired with the new SDR660 RF transceiver, which support peak downlink data rates of 600Mbps to the 600-tier line-up of SOCs for the first time.
The Snapdragon 660 will support 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi for "twice as much data throughput" and up to 60 percent lower download power consumption as the Snapdragon 652. The Snapdragon 660 mobile platform is further said to offer up to 30 percent improvement in GPU performance compared to its predecessor Snapdragon 653.
The Snapdragon 630, on the other hand, offers up to 30 percent increase in the GPU performance than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 625 processor.
Both the Snapdragon 630 and 660 mobile platforms will come with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 which can offer up to 5 hours of talk time in 5 minutes of charging and up to 50 percent battery life in just 15 minutes of charging. Qualcomm stresses that both new platforms support Qualcomm Mobile Security for providing security focused hardware-based protection, user authentication and device attestation on the mobile device.
The new 600-tier mobile platforms also add machine learning support. This will allow OEMs and developers to implement machine learning on the Snapdragon 660 and 630 mobile platforms using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK.
"This heterogeneous software framework offers support for Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow, making it easy to target and run neural networks on the Snapdragon core that matches the power and performance profile of the desired feature - CPU, GPU or DSP/HVX," the company explained.
"With the introduction of the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms, we are thrilled that features such as improved image quality and fast LTE speeds will now be available in a wide array of devices without sacrificing performance or quality," said Kondap. "This ensures that a greater number of consumers will be able to take advantage of higher quality user experiences in camera, audio and visual processing, connectivity, improved CPU and GPU performance, fast charging, security and machine learning," he added.
Disclosure: Qualcomm sponsored the correspondent's flight and hotel for the trip to Singapore.