US tech giant Qualcomm has started sending out invitations for the Snapdragon 660 launch event that is slated to take place in China on May 9. The chipset previously leaked alongside the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 635 earlier this year, revealing the company’s intentions of strengthening its hold over the upper tier of the mid-range market.
According to the invite, the Snapdragon 660 will be officially unveiled next Tuesday as an affordable alternative to Qualcomm’s top-tier chipset, the Snapdragon 835. While some industry insiders believe that the Snapdragon 660 will benefit from a big.LITTLE octa-core arrangement with four 2.2GHz cores and four 1.9GHz cores, just like the Snapdragon 835, with the main difference between the two being that the former is manufactured using a 14nm process while the latter is based on a 10nm one. The new SoC should also be equipped with the Adreno 512 GPU and support dual-channel LPDDR4X-1866MHz RAM memory, UFS 2.1 flash memory, and cameras featuring sensors of up to 24 megapixels. LTE Cat. 10 and three carrier aggregation is also said to be on the cards with this chip. According to leaked benchmarks, the new CPU’s performance will apparently be similar to last year’s Snapdragon 820, but that has yet to be confirmed by real-world tests. As it appears thus far, the Snapdragon 660 is essentially an updated version of the Snapdragon 652 which currently powers phones like the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) and the Oppo R9 Plus and provides a quality balance of performance and battery life.
According to recent reports, the new chipset should enter mass production at some point during the current quarter of the year, and products taking advantage of its computing power should debut on the market soon after. For example, the elusive Nokia 7 and Nokia 8 were previously both tipped to arrive with Qualcomm’s new mid-range offering. The first model will allegedly launch with a FullHD display (1920 x 1080) while the other will sport a QHD (2560 x 1440) panel instead. Industry sources have been hinting that the Snapdragon 660 will also be powering the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 that’s expected to ship with a 6.4-inch FullHD display, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. In any case, more details regarding Qualcomm’s upcoming piece of silicon are bound to follow shortly.