Qualcomm's Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC Packs Potent Performance Punch For Mid-Range Phones

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Qualcomm is putting the pedal to the metal when it comes to 5G SoCs for mobile devices. The company struck it big last year with dozens of design wins for the Snapdragon 765G, a mid-range SoC with an integrated 5G modem. The company looked to expand upon that success earlier this year with the launch of the Snapdragon 780G, and today we're witnessing the arrival of the Snapdragon 778G.

Whereas Snapdragon 780G availability is limited to a few OEMs, the Snapdragon 778G is available to a broader base of Qualcomm customers. Qualcomm says that it currently has Motorola, Honor, OPPO, Realme, and Xiaomi signed on to release the chip in "high tier" smartphones.

Like the Snapdragon 780G, the Snapdragon 778G uses an 8-core Kryo 670 CPU clocked at up to 2.4GHz. There appears to be a slight difference concerning the GPU, as the former uses the Adreno 642 while the latter uses an Adreno 642L. The assumption here is that the Adreno 642L is perhaps a tad bit slower, but performance is still up to 40 percent higher than what you'd find with the Adreno 620 GPU in last year's Snapdragon 765G.

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The lower positioning on the totem pole for the Snapdragon 778G is confirmed by the manufacturing process it uses. While the Snapdragon 780G uses Samsung's cutting-edge 5nm process node, the Snapdragon 778G uses the slightly more economical TSMC 6nm process node.

Camera specs between the two SoCs remain the same, as you'll find the Spectra 570L ISP with support for up to three cameras. Other niceties include support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6E, and the 12-TOP Hexagon 770 Neural Processing Unit (NPU).

What's interesting, however, is that despite its somewhat lower positioning in Qualcomm's chip lineup, the Snapdragon 778G has support for one thing that the Snapdragon 780G doesn't. The Snapdragon X53 modem in both SoCs supports sub-6GHz 5G connectivity, but the Snapdragon 778G has provisions to support higher-performing mmWave 5G. mmWave 5G doesn't have widespread availability worldwide, but wireless carriers in the United States are slowly building out their networks. So rather than denying OEMs the opportunity to integrate mmWave hardware/antennas into their smartphone designs, the Snapdragon 778G at least gives OEMs a choice to offer the costly option.

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"Snapdragon 778G was developed to address the growing demand by global OEMs for more platform options in the high-tier," said Kedar Kondap, VP of Product Management for Qualcomm Technologies. "Snapdragon 778G brings many of the latest premium technologies and features into the high-tier to help make next-generation experiences more broadly accessible."

"The Snapdragon 7-series is a critical component of Motorola phones, helping us bring premium experiences to a broader price range," added Ruben Castano, VP of Customer Experience at Motorola. "The Snapdragon 778 5G's accelerated AI and next-gen technology will power the Ready For platform on Snapdragon 7-series-based Motorola phones for the first time and lightning-fast 5G connectivity, which continues our goal to expand 5G devices across price points."

According to Qualcomm, the first smartphones designed around the Snapdragon 778G will launch during Q2 2021.