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snapdragon x60

83

The Snapdragon 888 is a surprisingly big step forward

The Snapdragon 888 is a surprisingly big step forward

Last year, I said the Snapdragon 865 was the most important smartphone chip in years. I meant that, and stand by it, because it was the chip that introduced 5G to the (relatively unenthusiastic) masses and ensured that 5G would be a standard feature on most mainstream phones going forward. The Snapdragon 888 doesn't have that same wireless generational leap as its predecessor, but the architectural changes to Qualcomm's newest silicon actually do feel more significant this year. Let's break it down.

Starting with the CPU, Qualcomm is rejiggering its approach once again, featuring a new ARM Cortex-X1 "supercore" alongside 3 smaller mid-core and 4 small cores, making up what Qualcomm calls the Kryo 680.

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32

2021's smartphones will greatly ease the 5G transition for US carriers

2021's smartphones will greatly ease the 5G transition for US carriers

While you can't even buy more than two smartphones with Qualcomm's brand-new X55 5G modem in the US right now, the company has already announced the part that will replace it: the Snapdragon X60, and it comes with some seriously important improvements for US cellular operators.

I know that topics like spectrum and carrier aggregation can make anyone's eyes glaze over, but stick with me here, because this actually is kind of good stuff to know. Right now, most carriers in the US (and all of the "big four," soon to be big three) rely on a large diversity of various spectrum holdings to provide their 4G LTE coverage.

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