Qualcomm today announced 4 new additions to its Snapdragon 400 and 600 lineup of SoCs, along with a reshuffle and rebranding of their modem lineup. Let's begin with the new SoC offerings:

The Snapdragon 415 and 425 are additions to the low-end of Qualcomm's SoC offerings. The Snapdragon 415 is described a "quick transition piece" to the Snapdragon 410 which we suspect means it will be a pin-compatible SoC upgrade. It doubles up on the core-count from 4 A53 processors up to 8. The cores are still clocked in at the same 1.4GHz frequency. On the GPU side we see an upgrade from the Adreno 306 to a newer Adreno 405 and memory speeds have been slightly bumped from 533MHz to 667MHz LPDDR3, dropping LPDDR2 capability from the SKU.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Lineup
SoC Snapdragon 410 Snapdragon 415 Snapdragon 425
CPU 4x Cortex A53@1.4GHz 4x Cortex A53@?GHz

4x Cortex A53@1.4GHz
4x Cortex A53@?GHz

4x Cortex A53@1.7GHz
Memory
Controller
1x 32-bit @ 533MHz
LPDDR2/3

4.2GB/s b/w
1x 32-bit @ 667MHz
LPDDR3

5.3GB/s b/w
1x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

7.5GB/s b/w
GPU Adreno 306 Adreno 405 Adreno 405
Encode/
Decode
1080p H.264 1080p H.264

1080p30 HEVC decode
1080p H.264

1080p30 HEVC decode
Camera/ISP 13.5MP 13MP Dual ISP
21MP
Integrated
Modem
Cat. 4 150Mbps "X5 LTE" Cat. 4
150Mbps DL
50Mbps UL
"X8 LTE" Cat. 7 
300Mbps DL 100Mbps UL

2x20MHz C.A.
(DL & UL)

The Snapdragon 425 is also a octa-core A53 unit with the same GPU implementation, but clocked at a slightly higher 1.7GHz on the one of the A53 clusters. It's on the integrated modem side where things change, as the S425 employs a new integrated "X8 LTE" Category 7 LTE modem versus the Category 4 one found in the S415. The new unit also brings down the dual-ISP feature from the higher-end SoCs to the entry-level, enabling dual cameras up to 21MP. This should be an interesting SoC in the entry range as the specifications in terms of performance seem to match the Snapdragon 615 of the mid-range series.

While the entry range gets some large performance and connectivity boosts, today's biggest news comes in form of the Snapdragon 618 and 620. These are the first announced Cortex A72 SoCs, ARM's new high-end CPU architecture which was publicly announced just two weeks ago.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Lineup
SoC Snapdragon 610 Snapdragon 615 Snapdragon 618 Snapdragon 620
CPU 4x Cortex A53@1.7GHz 4x Cortex A53 @1.0GHz

4x Cortex A53 @1.7GHz
4x Cortex A53 @1.2GHz

2x Cortex A72 @1.8GHz
4x Cortex A53 @1.2GHz

4x Cortex A72 @1.8GHz
Memory
Controller
1x 32-bit @ 800MHz
LPDDR3

6.4GB/s b/w
1x 32-bit @ 800MHz
LPDDR3

6.4GB/s b/w
2x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

14.9GB/s b/w
2x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

14.9GB/s b/w
GPU Adreno 405 Adreno 405 "Next-gen" Adreno "Next-gen" Adreno
Encode/
Decode
1080p H.264

1080p30 HEVC decode
1080p H.264

1080p30 HEVC decode
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & HEVC
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & HEVC
Camera/ISP 21MP 13MP Dual ISP
21MP
Dual ISP
21MP
Integrated
Modem
Cat. 4
150Mbps DL
50Mbps UL
"X5 LTE" Cat. 4
150Mbps DL
50Mbps UL
"X8 LTE" Cat. 7
300Mbps DL 100Mbps UL

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

2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL & UL)

The Snapdragon 618 and 620 bring dual-channel memory back into the mid-range, employing LPDDR3 targeted at 933MHz, making them on par with today's Snapdragon 800 and 801 SoCs. The new offerings now employ full HEVC (H.265) hardware encoding and decoding, a feature first seen in the Snapdragon 810. Similarly to the 425, the usually high-end dual ISP functionality is brought down into the new SKUs and offer up to 21MP camera sensor functionality.

What Qualcomm doesn't specify though, is the GPU. We're being promised a new "next-generation" Adreno GPU, so we might be talking about a new 500-series, but we don't know for sure until Qualcomm actually announces the new architecture.

The Snapdragon 618 and 620 employ Qualcomm's new "X8" integrated modem solutions, capable of Category 7 LTE with up to 300Mbps downstream or 100Mbps upstream via 2x20MHz carrier aggregation on either upload or download channels.

Getting back to the CPU configuration: The Cortex A72 replaces the use of a higher-clocked A53 cluster as the "big" part of these new big.LITTLE SoCs. The A72 was announced as ARM's new flagship high-end core, so it's very interesting to see Qualcomm employ it in a mid-range SoC at only 1.8GHz. It would look like these new units are still manufactured under 28nm given the clock speeds. We still don't know much about the A72 core, but ARM's Peter Greenhalgh clarified that we should be seeing a 10-50% IPC gain over the A57 while improving power on the same process node and libraries. To see Qualcomm use the A72 in a mid-range SoC begs the question of exactly how big these new cores are, as pricing is be an important competitive factor below the high-end.

Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 415, 425, 618 and 620 to ship in consumer devices in the latter half of 2015. This is an interesting timeline as the 618 and 620 pose direct competition to the Snapdragon 808 which we still haven't seen announced in any consumer device. On the high-end, Qualcomm is still keeping very quiet as we still don't know what the successor to the Snapdragon 810 will look like or what the state of Qualcomm's new ARMv8 core is in. 

Modem re-branding

Finally as part of today's announcement, is a re-branding of Qualcomm's modem line-up. The "Gobi" name is abandoned in favour of a "X# LTE" denomination. It's to be noted that the model numbers don't correspond to actual LTE category capability, as for example the X10 and X12 modems are capable of respectively Category 9 and 10 LTE. The aforementioned parts are re-brandings of the modem variants which we find in the standalone Gobi 9x45 and 9x40 and Snapdragon 808 and 810 SoCs.

Today Qualcomm raised the bar for low- and mid-range SoCs and we're looking forward to what kind devices Qualcomm's OEM partners will come up with towards the end of the year.

Source (Qualcomm)

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  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Really hoping the 618 and 808 get used in real phones/tablets. Will be interesting to compare the performance of those to the 620/810, and the older 800/801/805.

    Will be interesting to see which layout gives "good enough" performance with the best battery life (4+4 or 2+4).
    Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Yeah, the 618 looks really interesting, at least if it is paired with a fast GPU. Unfortunately, it seems like the 2+4 configs end up with a lower spec GPU than the 4+4 chips. IMHO, they should do a 2+4 design with an even bigger GPU. Take the silicon saved from the 2 less 'big' cores and put it into the GPU. Should be able to get an extra shader cluster or two. That, plus fast/wide memory controller, top spec ISP+video decode/encode/etc and latest gen top spec modem block would be awesome! Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    It's not about our needs but their needs.
    If 618 is too good ,the more expensive 620 sells less. The 618 could have higher clocks easily but they don't want that ...
    To be fair,that's how things work, noting unusual really.
    Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Just days ago i've called people crazy for believing the A72 on 28nm rumor lol.
    Still we are just assuming it's on 28nm and i guess we have no idea when they started working on it, thought time to market, die size and clocks would be terrible on 28nm.
    During their most recent post results call they said that the new custom cores chip will be sampling in the later half of calendar 2015 so now we kinda know the entire line.
    Reply
  • twotwotwo - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    If it's A72, not A57, in the next midrange chips, makes it sound like they're planning for fireworks with their own core on the high end.

    (Or the high end is mostly same deal at higher clocks and they're just holding it back because it will come out later. But this is much less fun without wild speculation.)
    Reply
  • aryonoco - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    I honestly think they don't know yet. I think it will very much depend on yields on 14nm FinFET and whether that will be sufficient for Qualcomm's volume for the latter half of the year or not.

    If it's ready, then great. Otherwise I think Qualcomm has enough space that they will make a 4+4 Cortex A72 + A53 and by that time with a maturing 20nm process they can probably ramp up the A72s to 2.3 Ghz or something and call it Snapdragon 820. If their own custom ARM v8 cores are ready, then they'll go with that of course.
    Reply
  • rahul1200 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Next announcement in line is probably Snapdragon 815 and 820 which will be the flagship chipset in entire market.
    Refer: http://www.stjsgadgets-portal.com/2015/02/things-y...
    Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Qualcomm, where the heck are your custom designed cores? You dominated over ARM's paltry designs for years, and they haven't gotten any better as the a53 and a57 benchmarks show. The market is wide open, you have, or at least had, a team dedicated to it...

    The market needs someone to save it from ARM's mediocre CPU designs. And if Qualcomm doesn't step up soon then AMD and Nvidia have their own cores coming next year to do so instead.
    Reply
  • Kvaern2 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    They got runover by the 64 bit train when they least expected it. Reply
  • takeshi7 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    why does the X10 LTE modem have lower upload speed than the X8? Reply

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