Qualcomm has been the leading manufacturer of Android chipsets for years now, and it shows by their presence in nearly every major Android phone in the market to date. Since launching their Snapdragon 600 and 800 chipsets last year, Qualcomm took an even bigger slice of the high-end market than ever before, but for the first time in some years a major chipset manufacturer started challenging their lead in the low and mid-range spectrum: MediaTek. MediaTek was the first company to bring a true octocore 8-core processor to the market last year, and continues to power many low to mid-range phones that are sold outside of the US. This has caused the price of mid-range octocore phones to drop under an average of $163, or around CNY 1000 in China. Even though Qualcomm has other low and mid-range chipsets like the Snapdragon 200 and 400, they have been consistently replaced in these tiers of devices over the last year, and now they are looking to put a stop to that.
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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 is their answer to MediaTek’s barrage of octocore processors, and it also marks the first octocore processor that Qualcomm itself has sent to production. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC for short, will be the producer of the Snapdragon 615 in the coming weeks. Qualcomm’s entrance into the mid-range octocore market isn’t slated to bring prices up for these phones, rather more than likely we’ll see prices continue to go down because of increased competition. These chips are also slated to run cooler and use less power thanks to the new 20nm manufacturing process at TSMC.
What’s more Qualcomm has announced its plans to release both the Snapdragon 808 and 810 by the end of 2014, which is ahead of the rumored 2015 release dates for these chips. Both chipsets will usher in the first 64-bit processors in Qualcomm’s lineup, with the Snapdragon 808 being a hexacore 6-core processor, and the Snapdragon 810 pushing a full 8-cores. These chips will likely bring in a refresh near the end of the year or at the beginning of next year when phones like Project Ara are slated to start shipping. Right now it looks like the Snapdragon 805 is still slated to be in the next round of phones including the LG G3, Galaxy S5 Prime and HTC One M8 Prime, with the SNapdragon 808 and 810 likely to be seen in phones launching after the Galaxy Note 4 this fall.