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Qualcomm refreshes mid-market Snapdragons

Qualcomm Snapdragon 630_660

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 chips aim to give you most of the fun of a Snapdragon 835 at a fraction of the price.

With most of the action in the smartphone market currently in the sub-premium price tiers, it stands to reason that component suppliers will turn their attention to being as competitive as possible in that space. For Qualcomm this is especially important since its biggest competitor Mediatek is strongest in the lower price tiers and has the advantage of being based in the country that remains the driver of global smartphone growth – China.

“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 Kedar Kondap, VP of

product management at Qualcomm. “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.”

For those who care both chips have undergone a process shrink from 28nm to 14nm, which effectively means you can cram more performance into the same space and power envelope. The flagship Snapdragon 835 has already moved on to 10nm, however. Other than that the 660 uses Qualcomm’s own CPU core design – Kryo – while the 630 uses off-the-peg ARM Cortex A53 cores.

You can see a summary of the respective specs below. There’s also a video outlining the qualities of the chips against a background of edgy electronic music to show how serious Qualcomm is about this stuff.

The challenge for both smartphone vendors and their components suppliers right now is that you can buy a smartphone with 90% of the functionality of a flagship device at a quarter of the price (e.g. Moto G4 vs Galaxy S8). While Qualcomm doesn’t want to lose business to Mediatek, Spreadrum, etc, any success these chips have must come at much lower profit than the 825 and thus represent somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory.

Snapdragon 660 slide

 

Snapdragon 630 slide

 


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