Today Qualcomm announced three new SoCs in the mid and low-end Snapdragon lineup. At the lowest end we find the Snapdragon 425 offering a very frugal CPU configuration consisting of 4x Cortex A53's clocked in at 1.4GHz. The chipset is aimed at replacing the Snapdragon 410 and 412 and improves on them with an upgrade on the modem block as well as media decoder and encoder capabilities, now enabling 1080p HEVC decode and encode.

The Snapdragon 435 replaces the Snapdragon 430 which was only announced just a few months ago and also sees an improvement in the modem block used as we see it now going from UE Category 4 to UE Category 7. On the CPU side we see a 200MHz boost in the frequency of the faster of the two quad-core A53 clusters, now reaching 1.4GHz. In both the Snapdragon 425 and 435 we don't see a change in the GPU but it's possible clocks have changed; unfortunately details on the matter are still sparse. Both the Snapdragon 425 and 435 are manufactured on a "28nm LP" process but sadly it wasn't specified which foundry is manufacturing them.

New 2016 Mid & Low-End Snadpragons
SoC Snapdragon 425
(MSM8917)
Snapdragon 435
(MSM8940)
Snapdragon 625
(MSM8953)
CPU 4x A53 @ 1.4GHz 4x A53 @ 1.4GHz

4x A53 @ ? GHz
4x A53 @ 2.0GHz

4x A53 @ ? GHz
Memory 1x 32-bit @ 667MHz
LPDDR3

5.3GB/s b/w
1x 32-bit @ 800MHz
LPDDR3

6.4GB/s b/w
1x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

7.45GB/s b/w
GPU Adreno 308 Adreno 505 Adreno 506
Encode/
Decode
1080p
H.264 & HEVC (Decode)
2160p
H.264 & HEVC (Decode)
Camera/ISP Dual ISP
16MP
Dual ISP
21MP
Dual ISP
24MP
Integrated
Modem
"X6 LTE" Cat. 4
150Mbps DL 75Mbps UL

2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL & UL)
"X8 LTE" Cat. 7
300Mbps DL 100Mbps UL

2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL & UL)
"X9 LTE" Cat. 7
300Mbps DL 150Mbps UL

2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL & UL)
Mfc. Process 28nm LP 14nm LPP

Most importantly comes the announcement of the Snapdragon 625. This is the successor to the Snapdragon 617 which along with the 615 has seen quite a lot of success in mid-range and budget smartphones. The CPUs remain two quad-core clusters of Cortex A53's but now the performance cluster is clocked at up to 2GHz representing a large increase to the 1.5GHz SoCs which the 625 is replacing. The GPU has also been upgraded from an Adreno 405 to a newer generation Adreno 506. The modem again has seen a slight upgrade from an X8 to an X9 block, allowing for an increase in the uplink performance if the network supports it.

The biggest surprise out of today's announcements is the fact that the Snapdragon 625 is manufactured on Samsung's/GlobalFoundry's 14nm LPP process. Qualcomm thus is the first vendor to announce a non-high-end SoC to use a new FinFET manufacturing process which is quite astonishing as I hadn't expected vendors be able to do the migration so early on in the technology's lifetime, which may be a positive indicator that we might be seeing FinFET adopted across the mid-range earlier than expected.

The new SoC should be sampling to vendors in mid-2016 with availability in commercial devices in the second half of 2016.

Source: Qualcomm

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  • kpkp - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    625 build on 14nm while 650/652 is on 28nm (is it known now on what process exactly?), they need to (artificially if needed) keep those A72s on a leash, so they don't "embarrass" the custom effort. Reply
  • pepone1234 - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    I think the 650 is 28nm HPM but yes, this movement is a bit strange. 14nm for a supposedly inferior SoC and the 650 fabbed in an older process. Reply
  • mczak - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Don't forget the 650 (then known as 620) was announced exactly a year ago - "expected to ship in consumer devices in the latter half of 2015". Wouldn't surprise me if they'd also announce a successor to the 650 built on 14nm at some point (some chips seem to get announced a lot earlier than others by qualcomm). Reply
  • pugster - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    I don't think it is unusual for 14nm on the 625. The 652 is available now while the 625 is not available until 2H of this year. I'm sure that the successor to 650 and 652 will be 14nm. Reply
  • bug77 - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    Test new fab process on something that's not your flagship product has been done before. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Qualcomm is officially out of idea.
    Basically I just need to wait for MWC, SD820 release in the wild, let the survival to the fittest commence.

    They quit making custom after Kryo and Google rumoured to design chip. I wonder if there is any corelation between the two.
    Reply
  • zeeBomb - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Interesting... Reply
  • sseemaku - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    Seems like just a refresh than major changes Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    The first to announce is relative.Mediatek hasn't released details on P20 but they talked about it and Mediatek itself has been forced to make this one, likely because of Spreadtrum. So chances are Spreadtum will be the first in the marketplace.
    Weird choices anyway, P20 is rumored at 2.3GHz, this one at 2GHz (or 2+) and nothing to get excited about, except power.Not dropping a couple of A72s in there feels like such a waste.
    Hopefully they cover the midrange better since A53s are being pushed towards lower midrange by SD65x.
    Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, February 11, 2016 - link

    seems that DDR3 support is a weakness for the 625 since the P20 went DDR4 and cost won't be much of an issue by the time these hit the market. Reply

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