A rumor from the Chinese microblogging site Weibo claims that the next mid-range chipset from Qualcomm will be named the Snapdragon 635. This SoC will be comprised of eight Kryo CPUs, four of which will be modified from the ARM Cortex A73 CPU, while the other four processors will be based on the ARM Cortex A53 CPU. This is not the first time that a chipset manufacturer will include the ARM Cortex A73 processor or any of its derivatives into a mid-range chipset, and MediaTek is also rumored to include the aforementioned CPU into its upcoming mid-range product, the Helio P40. The rumor also claims that the GPU of the upcoming Snapdragon 635 will be 20 percent more powerful than the Adreno 506 GPU found in predecessors like the Snapdragon 625.
The ARM Cortex A73 CPU was launched last year and it has already been included into flagship chipsets, like Huawei's Kirin 960. It is the successor of the Cortex A72 CPUs used in the older mid-range chipsets from Qualcomm, namely the Snapdragon 650 and the Snapdragon 652, and it should provide a big boost on the single-core performance when compared to the lower-powered ARM Cortex A53 CPU found in the Snapdragon 625 SoC. ARM claims that the Cortex A73 provides an improvement of 40 percent higher performance for the same amount of silicon, allowing the chipset makers to offer increased performance for the same manufacturing cost, while also offering up to 30 percent better power efficiency. The chip designer also states that the chipset is designed to address one of the key issues of smartphone manufacturers, which is the increasingly complicated heat dissipation in increasingly thinner smartphones. While Qualcomm will modify the processor, most of the features and advantages will likely remain the same.
The rumor also claims that the SoC will be fabricated using Samsung's 14nm LPE process node technology. The use of smaller process nodes and FinFET technology should result in reduced power consumption, improved power efficiency, and lower temperature. Qualcomm is rumored to start the mass production of the Snapdragon 635 in the first quarter of 2018, and this product will likely be succeeded by the Snapdragon 635 Plus, which boasts of increased CPU and GPU frequencies. The rumor also talks about the Snapdragon 670 SoC, which is not yet announced by the chipset maker, but it will likely replace the Snapdragon 660 processor.