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Analyst: Next-Gen Snapdragon CPU Packs 10 nm Kryo Cores

March 4, 2016 - Written By Mihai Matei

Qualcomm’s latest chipset designed for flagship phones is now making its way towards the market, as Snapdragon 820-powered premium smartphones like the LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 are doing the same. So far the launch of the Snapdragon 820 seems to have advanced without a hitch, which is relieving considering the overheating issues experienced by the company’s previous top-tier chipset, the Snapdragon 810. With last year’s mistakes fixed, one analyst turns his attention towards Qualcomm’s future products, namely the next Snapdragon silicon aimed for the premium smartphone market.

Earlier today, Chinese analyst Pan Jiutang shared his thoughts regarding the next best Snapdragon chipset, saying that the next-generation SoC will be manufactured using a 10 nm process. The ongoing Snapdragon 820 was manufactured by Samsung in its own facilities, using 14 nm FinFET fabrication nodes. Generally speaking, a semiconductor manufacturing process using a smaller fabrication node can lead to better performance as well as lower energy consumption. 10 nm nodes are expected to first be used in 2016-2017, followed by 7 nm in 2018-2019, and 5 nm in 2020-2021. In addition, Pan Jiutang claims that Qualcomm’s upcoming premium chipset will feature the new Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with 4x Carrier Aggregation support, and will continue to utilize the company’s in-house Kryo cores debuted on the Snapdragon 820. In fact, Qualcomm is well known for using proprietary cores for its CPUs, but last year’s Snapdragon 810 was one of the exceptions, utilizing four ARM Cortex-A57 cores, along with an additional four Cortex-A53 cores.

The analyst also added that the larger part of flagship phones to be released in 2016 will not use the Snapdragon 820 due to its higher cost, but instead will rely on the Snapdragon 652 which should provide enough processing power for upper-range terminals. The Snapdragon 652 was previously known as the Snapdragon 620, and features an octa-core configuration with four Cortex-A72 cores along with an additional quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU. The SoC houses an Adreno 510 graphics chip, it supports dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM, and is already utilized by several smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy A9, as well as the brand new LG G5 in certain regions (Latin America) where it replaces the Snapdragon 820.