Google and other Android manufacturers try to keep on top of the hardware and software security, at varying degrees of intensity. But a vulnerability in widely-used Qualcomm SoCs disclosed by Check Point Research today was particularly alarming. It could theoretically allow a malicious app to patch the software for Qualcomm's MSM modem chips, giving it access to call and text history or even the ability to record conversations. Thankfully, most Samsung phones have already received a patch fixing the problem, and the rest is in for an update next month.
Phones based on Qualcomm's 700-series Snapdragon processors have been a hit as of late, combining serious performance with surprising value. Today the company announced its most powerful entrant in the series, the Snapdragon 780G. Versus the 765G as seen in recent Pixels, the 780G uses a 5nm fabrication process, allowing for faster speeds and greater efficiency.
Qualcomm plans its first foray into the consumer electronics market in years — with a device that bears a strong resemblance to Nintendo's wildly popular Switch game console. According to a source familiar with the company's strategy, the Android-powered game console will attempt to showcase the company's Snapdragon chipsets in a less traditional form factor.
The device, which we were able to view non-final images of but cannot share, is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a Switch. Detachable "joycon" style controllers are on the left and right sides of the core console, which resembles a thicker, bulkier smartphone. There's a good reason for that: the company believes that the added thermal headroom a thicker design affords will make its processor run faster and significantly more efficiently than a modern ultra-thin smartphone.
Qualcomm is struggling to meet a demand surge for its Snapdragon chipsets with multiple supply challenges affecting its production strategy. The ripple effects could bring more priority to the premium tier at the expense of more affordable devices and longer waits for orders.
The Snapdragon 765 is a pretty great chip, combining a selection of the high-end features of Qualcomm's 800 series with a lower price that puts it on the higher end of the mid-range category. According to an alleged leak on Telegram, the next upgrade to this class will be significant. The Snapdragon 775's biggest change is a shift to the smaller and more efficient 5 nanometer fabrication process, as seen on the 888.
Even though it only started in 2016, Reliance Jio is now the largest telco in India and has helped push the adoption of digital services with data plans that are among the cheapest in the world. However, it's not resting on its laurels and is actively looking to expand its scope by offering tech hardware such as entry-level 5G phones and VR glasses. What is also in the pipeline is an affordable laptop that runs Android and is powered by a Qualcomm processor.
Intel and AMD have done a fairly good job at engaging with their fans over the years, which in turn has helped cultivate interest in their CPUs and other products. The same isn't really true for Qualcomm, which has historically not done much to promote its tech besides... shipping it. That's changing though, as Qualcomm today announced a new 'Snapdragon Insiders' program.
Qualcomm has just announced two new 5G modems that promise ridiculous speeds and support for emerging frequencies. The new X65 and X62 modems won't be available until later this year, which probably means they won't be in Android flagships until the next generation of chips hits in 2022. When they do land, though, they'll support a few key features. In addition to the expected speed improvements (the X65 can hit a theoretical 10-gig speed), the new modems have an upgradeable architecture that will roll out new 5G features from a new set of standards over time — no hardware upgrade required.
Historically, Xiaomi has been a consistent contender to launch the first phones with next-generation Qualcomm silicon. It took the lead again by announcing its Mi 11 series of phones complete with the Snapdragon 888 in China last year. With that new engine comes a cavalry of other upgrades, and now, the phone is also available in international markets.
Not too long ago, Qualcomm announced its latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888. Today, the company is back with another new mobile platform, the Snapdragon 870. While the name implies that we're looking at a brand-new line, the new chip is actually nothing but a slightly tweaked Snapdragon 865 Plus.