Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 660 and 630 Chipsets Bet Big on Machine Learning and Camera

by: - Last updated on: May 11th, 2017

Qualcomm has announced successors to two of their budget-friendly mobile chipsets – Snapdragon 653 and 626 with the launch of Snapdragon 660 and 630. The new processors are ofcourse, meant for mid-tier smartphones and bring improvements in a wide range of aspects including machine learning capabilities, photography, battery life, connectivity, and more.

snapdragon660 630

Starting off with the camera, the new integrated Qualcomm Spectra™ 160 premium camera ISP (image signal processor) aims to promise relatively accurate skin tones, higher throughput for dual camera smartphones, and more importantly, improves on low light photography. Furthermore, it also supports smooth optical zoom, dual pixel autofocus and refines video stabilisation.

Moreover, the Snapdragon 660 comes equipped with Qualcomm’s Hexagon™ 680 DSP that allows the chipset to attain higher performance levels, power efficient processing of imaging and machine intelligence workloads. The processor is compatible with the majority of leading contextually aware APIs and does all that without consuming a substantial amount of power.

Both of the new chipsets feature the company’s X12 LTE Modem that can reach maximum download rates of 600Mbps and the 660 specifically, also supports 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi that can sustain twice as much data throughput and up to 60 percent lower download power consumption as the Snapdragon 652. Additionally, Qualcomm has packed a bunch of new technologies for avoiding connection drops indoors, better location accuracy and there’s support for Bluetooth 5 as well.

Now coming to the performance, the Snapdragon 660 comes with roughly 20 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Kryo (eight-core) 260 CPU and 30 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU when compared to the 653. The Snapdragon 630, on the other hand, provides an upgrade of about 30 percent on the Adreno 508 GPU and a 10 percent increase for the CPU (eight Cortex A53 cores) compared with its predecessor, 625.

Both chipsets utilise a 14nm FinFET process, are capable of 4K video capture, 8GB of maximum RAM, and more. The 660 can also power smartphones with a maximum display resolution of QHD (2K) resolution, whereas the 630 supports FHD/QXGA (1080p). Furthermore, both of the new chipsets reinforce the latest Quick Charge 4.0 technology and Qualcomm Mobile Security. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 also employ the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK which makes it easy to target and run neural networks on the Snapdragon core.

The Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform is already being shipped and the Snapdragon 630 will begin shipping towards the end of this month. There’s, although, no word as of now on any upcoming devices. With these new announcements, it seems quite certain Qualcomm is prioritising budget mobile chipsets as they’ve brought the majority of high-end features to the 660 and 630 processors.

Note: The editor of this blog is in Singapore on invitation of Qualcomm to attend the Snapdragon Tech Day.

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