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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  • SnowFlake9 - Friday, June 08, 2018 - link

    Hey Andrei, please do a full review of the performance of this chipset if possible, like the ones that you do for the flagship 8xx SoCs. Please make comparisons with SD820/1, SD835, SD660, and Kirin 970. It's always a pleasure reading your detailed analysis. Looking forward to one of the SD 710 soon. Thanks. Reply
  • SarruKen - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    I did some easy ( but I know, not necessary meaningful ) math based on the 3dmark and antutu 7 scores of the adreno 512, 530, 616 and 630, and I came to the conclusion that the adreno 616 inside the Snapdragon 710 has 192 ALUs ( postulating the fact that the clockspeed is 750 MHz ) and the adreno 630 - 384 ( also postulating that it runs at 670 MHz ). So double the ALUs, just like in the past years where we had 256 for flagships, and 128, respectively, for midrangers.
    Let's take an example: on Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited 2560x1440, adreno 512 does 2068 on average. Now with a 35% boost, the 616 should do 2791. Now we have to postulate that the 512 has: 850 MHz clockspeed and 128 ALUs and that the 616 has 750 MHz clockspeed and 192 ALUs. 2068x192: 128 = 3102. 3102x750:850= 2732. See? The 35% claimed improvement is possible this way, but, of courses, only if we deny any other architectural ( like IPC ) improvement.
    Now the 540 compared to the 630: 540 does on average 5990 on the same benchmark, while the 630 does 7940 ( source: notebookcheck .com). Let's take a look: 5990x384:256= 8985. 8985x670:712= 8454. So a bit less, true. But we have to take into consideration thermal throttling due to the TDP limit or maybe even memory bandwidth limitations. Even on notebookcheck the maximum score achieved for the 630 is 8451 ( so not the average I have used to the rest of the scores ), so almost the exact result we got using the rule of the three!
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