Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 5nm SoC Possibly Launching December 1 For Next-Gen 5G Flagships

snapdragon 875
Qualcomm is getting the ball rolling early when it comes to its next-generation flagship Android SoC. The company today sent out invites announcing that it will hold its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit from December 1st through December 2nd (the invites typically go out a month before the event, but this year’s invite is being sent out two months early). This event is usually held in sunny Maui, but this year due to COVID-19 it will be held virtually.

"As always, Snapdragon is synonymous with premium tier mobile performance and this year will be no different," Qualcomm wrote in the email invite. "We all know that 2020 has been a challenging year so far, but we’re feeling lucky about what’s to come in 2021."

snapdragon summit

Given that last year Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 865 in early December, and the year before that it announced the Snapdragon 855, it stands to reason that this year will see the debut of the all-new Snapdragon 875. Unlike the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 855, the Snapdragon 875 is reportedly moving to a new 5nm process node which would allow for improved efficiency and performance gains. Qualcomm will be among the first SoC providers to introduce 5nm chips following Apple's recent introduction of the A14 Bionic in the 4th generation iPad Air (it will also be featured in the upcoming iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro families).

Architecturally, it's rumored that the Snapdragon 875 will adopt an 8-core Kryo 685 GPU, Adreno 660 GPU, and Adreno 665 VPU. If the previous leaks are accurate, the Snapdragon 875 can also be paired up with fast and power efficient LPDDR5 memory.

qualcomm snapdragon x60

But while the expected performance gains over the Snapdragon 865 (and by extension, the Snapdragon 865+) are to be expected, what most people are likely wondering about is 5G support with the SoC. The Snapdragon 865/865+ have to rely on a separate Snapdragon X55 5G modem, which makes it a rather expensive two-chip solution. The Snapdragon 875, on the other hand, reportedly is going to feature an integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem. This would put the Snapdragon 875 on even footing with the Snapdragon 765/765G/768G, Snapdragon 690, and Snapdragon 750G which all have integrated 5G modems.

Not only should this lower costs for OEMs -- we witnessed quite a spike in flagship Android smartphone pricing for 2020 -- but it should allow manufacturers to reclaim much needed internal space and reap some power efficiency benefits as well. In addition, the Snapdragon X60, which is also built on the 5nm process node, boasts higher peak downlink/uplink speeds, which top out at 7.5Gbps and 3Gbps respectively.

We expect to hear more about the Snapdragon via inevitable channel leaks in the next two months, so stay tuned.