Isn't technology just fascinating? Don't you remember a few years ago when the first dual-core and quad-core mobile processors were announced, and we all marveled at the progress but wondered why would we ever need this much power in a smartphone? Fast forward a few years and we're already considering octa-core processors as "midrange", like these newly announced Snapdragon chipsets.

snapdragon_617_features

First is the Snapdragon 617, coming before the end of 2015 with an X8 LTE modem (Cat 7 for up to 300 Mbps downlink and 100Mpbs uplink) and dual Image Signal Processor (ISP) for cameras up to 21MP. Both features are similar to its Snapdragon 618 and 620 siblings and would allow OEMs faster software compatibility optimization if they've already implemented them.

However, the 617 has the older generation Adreno 405 GPU (the others have the newer 510) and a lesser powerful 1.5 GHz octa-core (ARM Cortex A53) processor.

snapdragon_430_features

Then there's the Snapdragon 430, which will come later in Q2 of 2016. Qualcomm says it'll be "worth the wait" since it will allow many new capabilities in its price range, including 1080p Full HD displays and dual ISPs for cameras up to 21MP.

There's an X6 LTE modem on board with Cat 4 speeds, the new power-efficient Adreno 505 GPU (which supports Open GL ES3.1, OpenCL 2.0, Android Extension Pack), and a 1.2 GHz octa-core (ARM Cortex A53) CPU.

Both processors are part of the range that will support Qualcomm's new Quick Charge 3.0 technology, and include the Hexagon DSP for better and lower power audio.

Press Release

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced two new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors. The new chipsets, the Snapdragon 430 and the Snapdragon 617, offer advances in both multimedia and connectivity for mid-range mobile devices.

The Snapdragon 430 features X6 LTE, with Cat 4 downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbps and support of 2x10 MHz Carrier Aggregation, and Cat 5 uplink speed of up to 75 Mbps via support for 64-QAM – a first in this tier. The Snapdragon 430 supports excellent image quality for dual camera configurations and sensors up to 21MP. The Snapdragon 430 uses the powerful new Qualcomm® Adreno™ 505 GPU with features such as Open GL ES3.1, Android Extension Pack, and OpenCL 2.0. Incorporating features that were previously limited to the high tier, the Snapdragon 617 improves on both the connectivity and capabilities of the Snapdragon 430. To meet the global demand for faster LTE data rates, the Snapdragon 617 integrates the X8 LTE modem, featuring support for Cat 7 download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps using bi-directional 2x20 MHz carrier aggregation. It also shares the same software advances, dual-ISP and camera architecture of the Snapdragon 620 and 618. In addition, the same software package runs the Snapdragon 617, 618 and 620, enabling OEMs to deliver these products quickly and efficiently. For optimal RF performance, the Snapdragon 617 and 430 pair with WTR 2965, the new cost-optimized RF transceiver for global carrier aggregation.

Both the Snapdragon 617 and 430 use the power efficient ARM® Cortex™ A53 CPUs in octa-core configurations. Both also include support for Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0, the next generation of fast-charging technology. Each uses the high performance, low power Qualcomm® Hexagon™ DSP, supporting low power sensor and advanced audio. Snapdragon 430 and Snapdragon 617 will fast track the regional certification process with support for the Qualcomm® Global Pass certification program.

“As smartphones and tablets continue to spread to all corners of the globe, we recognize that users are becoming more discerning in what they want,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The introduction of these new processors is a clear indication that we are listening to the needs of our customers who want ever improving cameras, faster connectivity, and better battery life across all available price points.”

Commercial devices featuring the Snapdragon 430 are expected to be available in Q2 2016, and the Snapdragon 617 is expected to be in commercial devices before the end of 2015.

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website,OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.