Qualcomm bungs ARM's beefy 64-bit A72s into new mobe brains

Four system-on-chips outfitted with new CPU, GPU cores

Qualcomm today unveiled four additions to its family of Snapdragon system-on-chips – revealing the specs of some smartphones and tablets that'll appear later this year.

Indeed, the California-based chip designer said its new Snapdragon 620, 618, 425 and 415 packages will turn up in gear shipping in the second half of 2015. Here are the stats:

The Snapdragon 620

The 620 is aimed at high-end handsets. It features four 1.8GHz ARMv8a Cortex-A72s – ARM's beefiest 64-bit processor design to date – and four 64-bit 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores. As per the big.LITTLE architecture, the A53s do all the more mundane jobs until the user wants to start playing games, and whatnot, causing the fatter and more power hungry A72s to spin up.

The 620 has a Qualcomm Hexagon V56 DSP and an unnamed GPU from the biz's Adreno family; it can capture 4K video at 30FPS (dropping to 1080p for 60FPS), drive 2560 x 1600 touchscreen displays, or stream 1080p over MiraCast to a wireless monitor. The chip does 4K H.265 decoding in hardware, can talk to dual channel LPDDR3 (933MHz) RAM, and use Bluetooth Smart 4.1, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and LTE mobile broadband. It can connect to cameras up to 21Mp in size, and grab image data at 930Mp/s.

The modem circuitry, which Qualcomm dubs "X8 LTE", can work with networks that use LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSPA+, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE, topping out at 300Mbps downlink and 100Mbps uplink (if your network supports Advanced Carrier Aggregation). It can also do VoLTE, and supports dual-SIM phones.

According to leaks, the 620 will have an Adreno 510, and measure 14mm by 14mm.

The Snapdragon 618

The 618 is pretty much the same as the 620 except it pairs two 1.8GHz Cortex-A72 cores with four 1.2GHz A53s.

The Snapdragon 425

The 425 is aimed at cheap'n'cheerful phones. It sports eight Cortex-A53 cores, running up to 1.7GHz, and an Adreno 405 GPU, and the X8 LTE modem from the new 600s. It can playback 1080p video at 60FPS, and drive 1080p displays.

The Snapdragon 415

The 415 system-on-chip will serve as the entry-level model, replacing the 410. It features eight 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 cores and an Adreno 405 GPU. Its X5 LTE modem can download data from mobile networks at up to 150Mbps.

Qualcomm went public with its new 28nm chip designs as rival Samsung revealed it had begun mass production of 14nm ARM-compatible system-on-chips, slated to arrive later this year as well. ®




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