Today Qualcomm announces a new entry to the Snapdragon lineup with the first 700-series SoC platform. The Snapdragon 710 is a direct successor to the Snapdragon 660 but comes with a new branding more worthy of the increased performance characteristics of the SoC. The higher-end 600 series SoCs such as the Snapdragon 650 and 660 were among the first non-flagship SoCs that used big CPU cores, which brought a significant jump in terms of performance to the mid-range.

While we haven’t seen that many design wins with the Snapdragon 650/660’s, they are increasingly becoming popular among Chinese vendors for example. The Snapdragon 710 fixes this branding issue of having quite capable SoCs with large CPU cores grouped together as the 700 series, while the lower tiered SoCs such as the Snapdragon 625 or 635 remain in the 600 series .

Qualcomm Snapdragon Upper Mid-Range SoCs
SoC Snapdragon 710 Snapdragon 660
CPU 2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
@ 2.2GHz 
6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz
4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.2GHz
4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz
GPU Adreno 616 Adreno 512
DSP Hexagon 685  Hexagon 680 
ISP/
Camera
Spectra 250 ISP
32MP single / 20MP dual
Spectra 160 ISP
24MP
Memory 2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
LPDDR4X
14.9GB/s

1MB? system cache
2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
LPDDR4
14.9GB/s
Integrated Modem Snapdragon X15 LTE
(Category 15/13)
DL = 800Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Snapdragon X12 LTE
(Category 12/13)
DL = 600Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Encode/
Decode
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265

10-bit HDR pipelines
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
Mfc. Process 10nm LPP 14nm LPP

The big IP blocks found on the Snapdragon 710 are very much derivatives of what’s found on the flagship Snapdragon 845. On the CPU side we see the same 2.2GHz maximum clock on the big cores, but the Kryo 360 Cortex-A75 based CPUs are microarchitectural upgrade over last year’s A73 based Kryo 260. The little cores are also based on the newer Cortex-A55’s and are clocked at up to 1.7GHz. The performance improvements are quoted as an overall 20% uplift in SPECint2000 and 25% faster performance in Octane and Kraken versus the SD660.

The SoC now also uses the new system cache first introduced in the Snapdragon 845 – although I’m expecting a smaller, yet unconfirmed 1MB size in the SD710.

GPU-wise, this is also Qualcomm’s first mid-range SoC sporting the new 600 series Adreno. As usual we don’t have too much information about the Adreno 616 other than an expected frequency of around 750MHz. The performance benefits on the GPU are quoted at up to 35% higher performance versus the Adreno 512 in the SD660.

In terms of connectivity the new SoC implements an X15 modem which is capable of UE Category 15 in the downstream with up to 800Mbps in 3x carrier aggregation and up to UE Category 7 in the upload with up to 2x CA. The new chipset now also offers 2x2 802.11ac digital backend for WiFi – however it’ll still need an external discrete analog RF frontend.

Where the Snapdragon 710 is claimed to shine though is power efficiency. The chipset is manufactured on the Samsung's leading edge 10nm LPP node – same as the Snapdragon 845. The fact that Qualcomm is targeting a leading edge node might be a sign of the where 700-series is headed and what it’s aiming for.

It’s not only on the CPU and on the manufacturing node where the 710 borrows features from the 845- the Hexagon DSP is of the same generation and the Spectra 250 ISP also inherits most of the new features found in the flagship SoC which should greatly improve image processing for mid-range devices. The camera and display pipelines are fully 10-bit capable so it can handle HDR capture and display.

Overall the Snapdragon 710 really does seem like a toned down 845 variant which actually balances out some important aspects. It’s especially good to see the mid-range being pushed into the 10nm manufacturing node as that will give a generation power efficiency jump for the relevant devices.

The Snapdragon 710 platform is available today and Qualcomm expects consumer devices to be launched in this second quarter – meaning we’ll likely to see some vendor announcements around Computex.

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  • jOHEI - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    Im not him but:
    "microarchitectural upgrade over last year’s A72 based Kryo 260" its A73 not A72.

    "Overall the Snapdragon 710 really does seem like a toned down 845 variant which actually balances out some important aspects. It’s especially good to see the mid-range being pushed into the 10nm manufacturing node as that will give a generation power efficiency jump for the relevant devices." to reach that conclusion is a bit weird as this SoC wont have the performance of the 835 even.

    "The Snapdragon 710 fixes this branding issue of having quite capable SoCs with large CPU cores grouped together as the 700 series, while the lower tiered SoCs such as the Snapdragon 625 or 635 remain in the 600 series ."

    The issue with the branding is the successors to the 630 already have big cores (636).
    A sucessor to the 636 should be more powerfull and more efficient than any of the 600 series.

    So theres an issue with branding, either share the last "40 numbers" between low end midrange and higher end, or complete the seperation.

    obviously the choice was to low end midrange be put in the 660 and up while higher up midrange be in the 700 series.

    qualcomm is running out of names for their mid range chips without confusing the consumer (which they already trick by naming their cores Kryo without the Gold and Silver distinction )
    Reply
  • leo_sk - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    Wouldnt 2+4 configuration be cheaper? Do the 2 extra little cores provide any advantage? I have used 650 and 652, and couldnt find any difference in real world usage, hence little sceptical Reply
  • peevee - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    Little cores don't cost much. And of course they do provide benefits if the memory subsystem can deliver. Reply
  • peevee - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    "but the Kryo 360 Cortex-A75 based CPUs are microarchitectural upgrade over last year’s A72 based Kryo 260"

    But in the table it is indicated that Kryo 260 is A73-based. So which is it?
    Reply
  • Wardrive86 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Any idea on what the L1-L3 cache sizes are? Reply
  • unrulycow - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Google, please make me a reasonably priced Pixel phone using one of these. Thanks Reply
  • Wardrive86 - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    The more I think about the 710 the more attractive it becomes. Single threaded performance should be on par with the SD835, multicore performance just below it. An Adreno 600 series GPU north of 300 Gflops. Second generation 10 nm lithography should provide fantastic thermals and battery life for this level of performance. 2 very beefy A75s coupled with 6 a55s at that clock should be very efficient. Ide be willing to gamble you could get comparable battery life to SD625, just with substantially better performance. Make for a great gaming/emulation chip! Reply
  • SarruKen - Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - link

    very true, the cpu performance and the efficiency will be top notch. But the gpu performance will still be under the great adreno 530, which was implemented almost 3 years ago..so it wont be good enoght for lets say ps2 emulations Reply
  • Wardrive86 - Friday, June 01, 2018 - link

    Raw GFlops will be weaker than Adreno 530, but memory bandwidth should be better..same bandwidth for RAM + L4 system cache. I'm sure Adreno 600 also has better color and texture compression capabilities that should further increase bandwidth efficiency compared to any Adreno 500 series GPUs. Remember the developer of Damon PS2 fully plans and develops against a Snapdragon 660, so this would be a great chip for that as well as Dolphin. Reply
  • anonym - Saturday, June 09, 2018 - link

    Memory I/O spec in this article is wrong. Memory channel width is 16bit x 2 for both 710 and 660. Different from 16bit x 4 for 820.

    Andrei, please check product brief for snapdragon 710 that pointed out explicitly.
    Reply

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