Qualcomm might be down but they are not out! 4 new mid-range SoCs announced

I think it’s safe to say that most of us aren’t to impressed with the current range of Qualcomm chips, but the future is bright for Snapdragon fans with 4 new mid range chips on the way.

Qualcomm are having a hard time this year. Their 615 and 410 chipsets simply cannot compete with the power of Mediatek’s offerings and users are noticing.

Fortunately Qualcomm aren’t out of the game just yet, and with the announcement of 4 new mid range processors they are hoping to gain some ground once again.

For the mid/high-end we have the Cortex A72 powered Snapdragon 618 and 620 chipsets. These processors are said to be the first SoC’s to use A72 cores and boast 3.5 times more performance over Cortex A15.


Gizchina News of the week

Like the current 615, the new chips are octacore processors in a big.LITTLE set up to allow power to go where it is needed. The 64bit chipsets will also get a next generation Adreno GPU and will be able to handle large, high resolution displays.

Mid range and lower end phones will now get the option of running the new octacore Snapdragon 415 or 425 chipsets. The new 400 series chipset use 8 Cortex A53 does and an Adreno 405GPU for improved performance.

Other updates to the 400 range are the addition quick charge 2.0 and support for 1080p H.624 video.

Chances are we will begin to see Chinese phone makers using the latest Snapdragon chipsets half way through this year. Just how well they will compete with Mediatek’s chips we will have to wait and see.

[ Android Authority ]
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  1. MaxPower
    February 18, 2015

    28 nm process… Really?

  2. Maki
    February 18, 2015

    The advantages of Cortex A72 sounds interesting, but if we realy have to wait until second have of 2015 I guess they will be too late again.

  3. Marco Lancaster
    February 18, 2015

    Haha This is just the proof that the new 64Bits MTK6732 and MTK6752 have outperformed the Qualconm solutions, so now they announce better processors.

    • ptator
      February 19, 2015

      better ?
      better GPS ? better Os support ? …

      • Kikkoman_56
        February 19, 2015

        The general consensus is that the GPS on the newer MTK chips are alot more reliable compared to what they used to be. Infact I’d chalk part of the blame of the perceived underwhelming performance to the phone manufacturers too. Bad antenna design / placement and the lack of a compass is a fairly common flaw in many of the worse phones.

        Mediatek still suck with their non-GPL compliance, but even so the point that Marco is making is that they have upped their SoC game enough that Qualcomm is feeling the heat. Regardless of who or what you are a fan of, it’s fairly clear that Mediatek has made huge progress since their days of the MTK6573. So much so that even major tech news outlet feels the need to report – http://www.cnet.com/au/news/meet-mediatek-the-brains-powering-your-next-budget-smartphone/

        • Marco Lancaster
          February 19, 2015

          Yeah man you got my point.

  4. Guaire
    February 18, 2015

    I guess those for next year. At least 618 and 620.

    We could see 415 and 425 end of the year.

    Qualcomm didn’t revealed manufacturing process but 28nm make sense economically. They will want these cheap otherwise manufacturers will goes to Mediatek.

    425’s performance more or less will be equivalent to MT6752.

    We don’t know for sure 1.8GHz Cortex-A72’s performance. But I guess they don’t want their next year’s mid-range SoC even so close to this year’s high-end SoC Snapdragon 810 which is on par with Exynos 5433. So it’s CPU have to perform between MT6752 and Exynos 5433. Level with Snapdragon 805.

    GPU is another story. It have to be cheap enough and clearly superior to Adreno 405. Let’s say Adreno 330 level.

    If Snapdragon 620 fits to 1000 yuan machines will be great.

    • rish
      February 19, 2015

      it’s too little too late.. these chips will be going against successors of mt6732 and mt6752..

      i think both Snapdragon 425 and snapdragon 620 won’t be used at all , and will be forgotten .. manufacturers will just stick to cheapest option available.. for low end they’ll stick to 415 and in mid range to 618.. have you seen snapdragon 610 in any phones yet ?

      mediatek will be announcing their new chips pretty soon as well.. and it will once again dominate snapdragon.. at the price of 2 x A72 from snapdragon 618 , they will provide 4 x A72 cores

      and there is no way that Snapdragon 620 will come to 1000 yuan .. only 618 might fit 1000 yuan ..

      on GPU front it is clear mediatek successors will easily beat SD 415/420 as the current mali T760 easily equals Adreno 405.. so successor will be obviously much better than this ..

      GPU on 618 and 620 is a mystery and we will have to wait and see how the new Adreno 510 performs .. SD 415/425 should start appearing in devices by august, since it is just a rebranded Snapdragon 615 ( and sd 410 has been a utter failure performance wise compared to 6732, plus it is advertised as “quick transition piece” by qualcomm , meaning they can’t afford to delay this chip much longer)

      • Guaire
        February 19, 2015

        If manufacturers always choose cheapest we would see Snapdragon 610 instead to 615. 610 is cheaper, but 615 has marketing value.

        So probably we won’t see any Snapdragon 808. It’s not cheap enough to fit mid-range, not powerful enough for high-end.

        For low-end 415 could be more attractive than 425.

        On the Mediatek side seems they are going to cripple both MT6752 and MT6732. With underclocking and implementing cheaper and weaker GPU Mali-T720. They will repack them as MT6753 and MT6735.

        When they did revealed MT6752 it would have to be 2 version as 1.7GHz and 2GHz. I guess they canceled 2GHz because it’s CPU performance would be dangeously close to MT6595.

        Who would have predict a year ago 1000 yuan devices would be that powerful at end of the 2014. Whether they use A72 cores or not, next year’s 1000 yuan devices easily could reach Snapdragon 801 level performance and almost 805 level even with A53 cores clocked at 2GHz.

        Neither Snapdragon 415 nor 425 will be enough for 1000 yuan devices by end of the year. So what will do they offer for that category?

        Qualcomm also seems trying to diminish A72 with implementing it their mid-range chips. They are developing their custom ARM core for their own high-end chips while their rivals implementing it their high-end chips.

        • rish
          February 19, 2015

          you got my idea wrong.. what i was saying was Snapdragon 610 is pretty expensive.. instead of going with snapdragon 610 for mid range quad core, manufacturers chose snapdragon 410 .. as both are 64bit quad cores and it is silly to pay high for quad cores .. snapdragon 615 is cheaper in that regards .. as it gets marketing benefits of 8 cores .. same thing with Snapdragon 808 .. also do you remember Mt6588 ? exactly same thing happened with it .. it was a much powerful quad core than 6582 but manufacturers simply used 6582 in all phones and for mid range they directly chose 6592 octa..

          regarding 6735 and 6753 .. both are supposed to cost less than 6732 and 6752 while delivering similar kind of performance.. check out roadmap of mediatek where they have listed in terms of price both sit below those .. they aren’t successors to 6752 and 6732 .. just cheaper versions with same performance.. kind of like they did with 6592 .. 1st gen was expensive then they released 6592m after 3-4 months which was cheaper and brought the cost down..

          they have done similar thing here by downgrading GPU , the higher no is because of modem as it supports every kind of band .. and it is expected to be in devices shortly in the next 3 months.. while the true successors of mt6732 and 6752 will land in Q4 2015 .. i was referring to these .. they will most likely announce it at MWC

          i am not saying we won’t see A72 in 1000 yuan , i was saying we won’t see Snapdragon 620 … snapdragon 618 will be the processor to fit in 1000 yuan with 2 x A72.. Snapdragon 620 will be expensive for 1000 yuan

          yup for high end qualcomm is going to come with their custom core.. i

          • Guaire
            February 19, 2015

            Comparing 410 with 610 isn’t right. As their names indicated 410 for lower mid-range at best. 610’s performance exactly same with 615. It’s only lack of octacore’s marketing impression. They couldn’t make it that cheap. It’s certainly cheaper than 615 and it’s performance not even a bit less than 615. Manufacturers willing to pay more for nothing other than octacore gimmick. So I’m trying to say manufacturers not always choose cheaper.

            I remember MTK6588. It’s a shame manufacturers didn’t choice it.

            MT6753 and 6735 will be considerably slower than 6752 and 6732. Their CPU will be clocked 1.5GHz at top or 1.3GHz and Mali-T720 despite the name’s suggestion not really close to T760.

            A72 cores developed by ARM for high-end devices. Implementation it mid-range 600 series is interesting choice. It’s really a big suprise to me. Their intention should be marked it as mid-range CPU.

            I can’t see hexacore chips’ success. My prediction is manufacturers will go to Snapdragon 620. 618 will be discarded like Snapdragon 808. Or like MTK6591 or Exynos 5260. Seems to me market doesn’t like hexacore.

            Qualcomm revealed their hand too early and if their next generation mid-range SoCs doesn’t fit 1000 yuan devices Mediatek dominate it again.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              February 20, 2015

              Opposite to your “thinking” I actually see MT6732 as the best A53 based soc on market, MT6735’s T720 will have higher clocks & probably perform as T760 MP2 @ MT6732. I think MT6732 is best power/ performance balanced SoC in market. In 95% of cases spread of first two cores is what really counts as system will use first one & lunched app second one. Their is no app (their will probably be a new Morzila browser by the end of the year) that will use all 8 cores (I don’t count CPU based video transcoding apps) so 6752 is a only performance advertising product nothing more. On the other hand S615 (Now S415) & all similar products based on two clusters of four A53 cores is utter stupid & will in most cases consume more power than only a simple quad core while not having any performance gains. I actually think whole concept of big little is stupid as it can be. Best solution would be integration of dedicated micro core based on cortex M series that would be able to do all sleep state tasks & switched to periferal functions like IO controller when the big cores fire up. Problem is ARM didn’t do a 64 bit M series design yet, Samsung had some plans for using micro cores but there will be nothing of that until we see a 64 bit M design. Other than that & as a good combo should be a nice software solutions that should isolate & lock one of the big cores on lo clock spread (up to 800MHz with manufacturing processes currently in use) until all other’s reach hi load level’s. Even it sounds simple it is not as current scheduling logic is far from ideal & task migration is actually costy solution. We will probably never need more than four general purpose cores as the next step certainly is integration of FPGA’s into SoC’s & AGPU compute is simply a missed thing.
              & I got carried away once again. 🙂

            • Guaire
              February 20, 2015

              I’m not a fan of octacores. Actually I just call it a gimmick. I mean true octacores, not big.LITTLE configuration.

              For example I consider MT6752 simply as a quadcore. Other cores just a burden.

              MT6752 is faster than 6732 only because it’s CPU and GPU clocked faster not because of extra CPU cores.

              We got MT6752 and Snapdragon 615 because MTK6592 accomplished huge success on the market. Average consumer believes in octacores.

              We don’t have any example of Mali-T720 to compare it with T760, but I doubt it will be on par with just overclocking. MT6752’s GPU clocked as high as 700MHz already. MT6732’s is slower though.

              As well I know Leadcore developing a chip worthy to attention named LC1980. Quadcore Cortex-A53 clocked to 1.8GHz and 6 cores Mali-T720. Considering rumors Leadcore acquired by Xiaomi we could see it in Redmi Note 2. Seems like faster than MT6752 and maybe a bit cheaper on the paper.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              February 20, 2015

              It’s not cheaper! 6 cluster T720 is big on die size much (2.5) times as big as T760 two clusters & much much bigger then 4x additional A53’s on MT6752. So it will cost significantly more to produce. Xiaomi is actually Qualcomm in disguise. 🙂

              T760 MP2 @ 500 will be close to T720 @ 700MHz but T760 will consume less power. You have plenty of examples to compare with in gfx database.

            • Guaire
              February 20, 2015

              In the Gfxbench database there are plenty of Mali-T760 but not even an example of T720. Nobody implemented it yet.

              As well I know ARM didn’t revealed die sizes of both GPU’s comparing to each other or any other GPU’s.

              Neither Mediatek nor Leadcore does manufacture silicon chips. Actual die cost should be around $2-3 for TSMC. For Xiaomi, Leadcore’s chip will be much more cheaper for sure because they don’t have to make money from chip.

              Even for another manufacturer Leadcore’s price should be competitive because comparing to Mediatek they are underdog.

  5. Akimitsui
    February 19, 2015

    Now all that’s left is for Leadcore to announce their new lineup of CPU’s >.>

  6. Bailey
    February 19, 2015

    I love the hype Qualcomm the most successful chip maker in the world all of a sudden might be down. Still its fun to read

  7. Lazar Prodanovic
    February 19, 2015

    We can call it a empire strikes back. 🙂
    There are some intersecting things about new Qualcomm lineup.
    To start with S415 is actually rebranded S610 (S615).
    The S625 expected in 3rd Q will actually kill even the S810 at least on CPU front GPU will probably be a A330 re worked derivate.
    Looks like Qualcomm actually waited for Cort case in China to finish.
    Now after spanking from Chinese government they are getting to war with MTK & this time with competitive prices. It’s not all bad for user’s as you can expect price cuts on new MTK powered lineup to start soon. Another interesting thing is that no new lo end SoC is announced & that leaves MT6732 as a king of the hill in entry level segment. I already commented how good MT6732 really is commenting on P6000 review & it is by far the best SoC MTK ever made with a possible exception of same tablet sibling (MT8732).
    At the end MTK is starting to open, as they are starting to realize that open community is a hell of the way to help them fight back. I know a lot of good developer trying to run away from msm & so far now with Broadcom & Texas Instruments out they didn’t had much choice. Check new added MTK SoC support in Linux kernel 3.20 (even this one is mystery to me).
    At the end another sad news Sony mobile is no more, they will try to sell a division along with Xperia branding but that will be hard.

    • Guaire
      February 19, 2015

      Snapdragon 625? 815?

      • Lazar Prodanovic
        February 19, 2015

        particularly S625 with 4xA72 will be faster then S810 with 4xA57 if that whose question.

        • Guaire
          February 19, 2015

          My question is where do you get names and specs? From recent leak?

          Qualcomm revealed S618 and S620 not S625.

          There was a so called leak a month ago. If I’m not wrong you get Snapdragon 625 and S815 names from there. We can say it turned out a hoax.

          Leakage suggest S620 is a quadcore with Qualcomm’s custom cores, it’s GPU Adreno 418 and had cat. 10 LTE modem. Turned out a big.LITTLE octacore with ARM’s stock Cortex-A72 and A53 cores with a cat. 7 modem.

          So we can also overlook Snapdragon 815.

          ARM revealed A72 more powerful than A57 at the same power budget. If I’m not wrong at the same manufacturing node and same power budget A72 should be around %30 more powerful than A57 according to my calculation.

          But ARM didn’t revealed it’s performance per MHz. If A72 are %30 more powerful than A57 at same clock speed Snapdragon 620’s single thread performance will be over than 1500 at Geekbench 3.

          For a mid-range chip it’s sounds to me highly unlikely. If that’s their mid-ranger, what would their high-end chip?

          • Lazar Prodanovic
            February 20, 2015

            It is S620 not not S625 I made mistake there.
            A72 will probably be around 30% faster then A57 but take ARM’s projections about much higher power efficiency with a grain of salt. I did mention earlier how A72 is costing firms working on their costume designs a fortune as they get outdated before they even so the light of day. In the first plan hire comes Qualcomm. As the all suggestions say that A72 is faster than A57 that makes a S620 faster then S810 in CPU front. Consider that S620 will have same QDSP (let’s call it QDSP7) cat 6 (vs cat 9) LTE & good GPU remaining smaller power consumption. All of this makes S810 a bastard no one will want. So it’s obvious Qualcomm will try to push his successor as fast as possible, actually they need to do it in a same time as S620 gets to market. There whose a not so accurate leak originating from China about future Qualcomm road map about one month ago. It’s logically that S810 successor is called S815 & believe me they are working on it as fast as they can. I post for fun & sometimes I do make an small mistake with code or serial number name but it’s not a big deal I hope.

            • Guaire
              February 20, 2015

              ARM publicized A72 CPU just a few week ago but they began to licensing it 6-7 months ago.


              So I wouldn’t say their A57 designs wasted. They got warning beforehand.

              First chip implemented A57 is Exynos 5433 released Q4 2014. A57 revealed by ARM Q4 2012.

              I wouldn’t say A57 outdated as A72 revealed. It will take time to reach market. Obviously not long as A57’s yet as long as a full year.

              Qualcomm tried to rush Snapdragon 810, their first announcements indicated H1 2015, then they updated release date to early 2015 but got heating issues.

              I don’t think so S620 will be ready in 2015. Also they need to design it for 28nm, it will take extra time. If I’m not wrong ARM released it as 16nm FinFET.

              Qualcomm doesn’t want to S620 faster than S810. Because I predicted it should be weaker than S810. At best fast as S805.

              We know A72 %30 faster than A57 at same power consumption but we don’t know it %30 faster at same clock speed.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              February 20, 2015

              We don’t actually know a shit about A72 as ARM didn’t go public with anything substantial (no white paper or anything) but just a bunch of projections with no in depth explanation how they got them. However A72 will be faster than A57 by DMIPS/MZh not by better power consumption. It’s by all means fastest ARM referent core up to date & even in projections they didn’t say that is capable for much higher (if higher at all) clock rates. The thing is that optimal power/ performance frequencies are actually much lower than what is used as all manufacturer’s go rather for die size then efficiency. Actual efficiency lv is steady up to 950MHz & that won’t change with FinFET. Usually taking something to lithography takes 6+ month’s. I don’t think that any of new SoCs will use old high efficient mobile 28nm lithography nods. The synopsis with arm did a A72 on a 16nm (20nm base) FinFAT nods how ever there are also rumors that Qualcomm will actually use 14nm FinFET by Samsung (everyone is as it’s more mature). S618-S620 by all mins won’t be lo end chips and they target to conquer not MTK SoCs but Exynos hi end family. S810 is just depreciated before it so a first commercial products & that happens sometimes.

            • Guaire
              February 20, 2015

              Cortex-A17 doesn’t need lower clock speeds to be more power efficient comparing to A15.

              If 618 and 620 are targeted to high-end Exynos chips, they will also hurt their own next generation high-end chips. I’m not talking about S810.

              FinFET process are very expensive yet and wouldn’t suit mid-range chips. Nobody will buy it. They will be dead-born.

  8. David Košič
    February 20, 2015

    Where they ever really down, even with weaker cores on CPU sides the entire SoC still seems to be a better product than the mediatek offering.