Qualcomm is rolling out a new mobile chipset for mid-range devices. As the first new system-on-chip in the company's newly minted 700-series Snapdragon tier, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 brings upgraded performance to mainstream phones and tablets compared to the previous generation Snapdragon 660, and combines a multi-core artificial intelligence engine with neural network processing capabilities.
What's notable about the Snapdragon 710 and the 700-tier in general is that Qualcomm is injecting technologies and features that were previously reserved for its premium mobile chipsets.
"By incorporating key AI capabilities and performance advancements, the Snapdragon 710 is designed to transform our customers products into the ultimate personal assistant, enhancing critical everyday consumer experiences, such as high-end camera features that will benefit from on-device high-speed AI processing, without sacrificing battery life," said Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management for Qualcomm.
AI has taken center stage in the technology sector in recent years, with companies now focused on leveraging AI capabilities for consumer-oriented tasks, not just high-level scenarios. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 710 delivers up to twice the overall performance in AI applications, compared to the Snapdragon 660, and makes it "virtually effortless to capture and share contextually-aware photos and videos." The new chipset also uses AI to personalize voice and speech patterns for natural interactions.
What this ultimately means is that we should start to see lower cost smartphones with advanced AI capabilities. The new chipset also supports 4K playback with high dynamic range (HDR) support for both videos and apps. That's a first outside of Qualcomm's top-end 800-series.
As with other Snapdragon processors, Qualcomm combines big cores for performance-oriented tasks with little cores for power saving tasks. Specifically, the CPU portion consist of four Kryo 360 Cortex-A75 based cores clocked at 2.2GHz with four Kryo 360 Cortex-A55 based cores clocked at 1.7GHz. For reference, the Snapdragon 660 consists of four Kryo 260 Cortex-A72 based cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four Kryo 260 Cortex-A53 based cores clocked at 1.8GHz. For graphics, this is the first mid-range Snapdragon SoC to use a new Andreno 600 series GPU, the Adreno 616.
Qualcomm also infused its Snapdragon X15 LTE modem into the new chipset. The X15 supports download speeds of up to 800Mbps, along with some advanced 4G LTE technologies, such as 4X4 MIMO for up to 70 percent faster downloads in weak signal conditions, the company says.
Finally, Qualcomm claims its Snapdragon 710 chipset delivers significantly improved battery life. According to Qualcomm, devices powered by a Snapdragon 710 SoC will see up to a 40 percent in power consumption for both gaming and 4K HDR video playback, and a 20 percent reduction in power consumption when streaming video, compared to the Snapdragon 660. Those are impressive numbers, if they hold true.
Qualcomm is already shipping the Snapdragon 710 to customers. That means we should see devices utilizing the new chipset starting sometime this quarter.