Qualcomm has announced two new platforms today, the Snapdragon 660 and 630, meant to supplant the 653 and 626 respectively. Both are built on the company's latest 14nm FinFET process. They are also each part of Qualcomm's so-called "High tier," which rests — as one would numerically assume — between the 800 and 400 tiers. I don't want to oversimplify too many details of this release since it is very nifty, but at the same time I would like to ensure the information I'm presenting is accessible, so forgive me if I occasionally digress and/or geek out. Read More
Nearly all phone manufacturers use SoCs (system-on-a-chip) from other companies, like Qualcomm or MediaTek. Exceptions to that rule include Apple's A series, Samsung's Exynos processors, and Huawei's Kirin platform. Xiaomi is now joining in with the Surge S1, the company's first SoC developed completely in-house. Read More
MediaTek has been busy in the last few months. In December, the semiconductor company launched the Helio X23 and X27 system-on-chips, which were upgrades to the previous X20 and X25, respectively. Then, just earlier this month, we saw the announcement for the Helio P25, a new SoC that hoped to bring some premium smartphone features (especially in regards to photography) to a mid-level chip. And now we have the Helio X30 announced at MWC, MTK's newest high-end entrant that could start a new chapter for the company. Read More
Even with the AMD complaint against it, MediaTek keeps chugging along with its system-on-chips. The latest in the Helio family is the P25, an evolution of the P20 that is targeted toward dual-camera smartphones (because those are a thing again). This fancy new SoC maintains the power efficiency for which MTK is known while bumping up image and graphics processing capabilities. Read More
The name MediaTek is usually associated with lower-end Chinese smartphones and tablets, since their SoCs are rather inexpensive. In the last year or so, the chip manufacturer has been working to push past that reputation. When it introduced the Helio X20, a few people took notice. Innovation is not usually the game with MediaTek, but it does try some interesting CPU designs. Today, it revealed the new Helio X23 and Helio X27 mobile processors. Read More
Qualcomm was looking to put the disastrous Snapdragon 810 in the rear view mirror when it began shipping the Snapdragon 820 a while back. Now, it's putting more distance between itself and ARM's reference cores with the Snapdragon 821. This is the second chip with Qualcomm's custom 64-bit CPU cores, and it's apparently as much as 10% faster than the 820. Read More
Have you recently stopped to think about what modern smartphones can do? It's amazing how much power is packed into these small little devices that we carry around all day, and it's even more amazing that most of that power resides in teeny tiny chips that are lodged somewhere between the huge screen and the big battery.
ARM is one of the companies that provide the building blocks for modern smartphone SOCs. It makes graphics and application processors that companies like MediaTek and Samsung use in their Helio and Exynos chips, respectively. Now ARM is unveiling new processors for the 2017 flagships that will push their performance even further. Read More
The Snapdragon 820 is far from a secret, but today marked the official "launch" of the upcoming chipset from Qualcomm in New York. The 820 is a huge bet for Qualcomm on the future of its high-end SoC business, marrying the latest technologies across the board for what it hopes will be the ultimate mobile processor.
The 820's full specification sheet, such as it is, is below.
The 820 will be manufactured on a 14nm FinFet process, sporting four brand-new Kryo CPU cores designed by Qualcomm. This marks a departure from the ARM reference cores Qualcomm has used exclusively on its 2015 lineup and which have arguably been a source of woe for the company this year. Read More
Back in late July, the Qualcomm Corporation - employer of over 30,000 individuals at the time - began the process of telling about 15% of those people (eg, over 4,000 gainfully-employed human beings) they were no longer needed. This was after already cutting another 1500 jobs in late 2014.
The company's stock is currently trading near 2-year lows, and while obviously still a very robust company, Qualcomm can't keep putting in these kinds of numbers if it's going to maintain its position at the tippy-top of the smartphone chipset market.
Qualcomm (QCOM - NASDAQ) stock is down over 10% year-to-date. It is down over 20% from its peak, reached in early 2014. Read More