We already covered the Snapdragon 710, the first of many of the 700 series to come but we wanted to chat a bit more about the vision behind the whole project. We had a chance to talk to Kedar Kondap, the VP of product management, and one of the key guys behind the 700 series.
Partners simply wanted to have something more powerful than the top of the line of 600 series and the company responded with 700 series and 710 as the first of many.
Lots of firsts for this market segment
There are a lot of firsts outside the Premium Tier. Traditionally, every company will bring top notch features at the high end and then later phase them to the performance/mainstream and eventually to entry level.
The 700 or mainstream/performance series will bring 10nm to this market segment and enable low power and better performance. The 3rd generation Kryo 360 cores are based on two Cortex A75 and six out of Cortex A55, again just months since Qualcomm started shipping its flagship Snapdragon 845 using very similar, but higher clocked cores.
The 2nd Generation spectra are responsible for noise reduction, active depth sensing, Ultra HD video capture at 40 percent lower power, popular slow motion video capture, super resolution support, image stabilization, video noise reduction and 32 megapixel single and 20 megapixel dual ISP support.
There is a big AI play, with double the AI performance compared to the Snapdraogn 660. Partners simply want this and the Hexagon DSP, Adreno GPU and Kryo CPU combination can help neural processing SDK runs significantly faster.
ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) are using AI to accelerate 2D Face Unlocking, Animoji, Vide style transfars, food classification, face attributes, smart albums, bokeh photography, inner magic, relighting, assisted photography, people detection, object detection and many more. A few partners that already got on board with these AI used case scenarios - dominantly from China - include Face ++, SenseTime, Ellipticlabs, Uncanny Vision, Thundercomm and ArcSoft.
Qualcomm also upped the game with the 800 Mbps modem as it can now score 200 Mbps higher download speeds with the new Cat 15 modem compared to the Cat 12 from the Snapdragon 660. If you compare the 710 with the 650 series or 630 then the download speed jumps from 300 Mbps average speed for the category to the 800 MHz, or two and a half times faster.
The new modem supports 4x4 MIMO and LAA and on the wireless side there is a support for 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5 and TruWireless stereo technology for the real unteathered earbuds.
New Spectra 2509 enables Ultra HD video capture at 40 percent lower power, hardware accelerated multi frame super resolution, hardware acceleration noise reduction, adaptive depth sensing, video noise reduction, image stabilization and very popular slow motion video capture.
Adreno 616 supports 10 bit color, again first outside the premium tier and Adreno 616 brings 35 percent faster rendering compared to the last generation as well as Vulcan API, Unreal engine 4.1.2 and Unity 5.6 and promises great graphics at low power. On top of that the new platform supports Quick Charge 4+.
The Snapdragon tier is going to help companies like Nokia, Oppo, Vivo, Motorola, Asus, Xiaomi, HTC, Lenovo, Meizu, Sony and Samsung to get a SoC that is faster than 660 and has most of the feature of much bigger and more expensive Snapdragon 845. That is the key reason behind the 700 series.