Qualcomm Improves The 600-Series With The New Snapdragon 670

Qualcomm has now announced the next addition to its Snapdragon 600-series platform, the Snapdragon 670 SoC, following on from the Snapdragon 632 that was announced in late June. Unlike the 632 however, the Snapdragon 670 is designed to be a more formidable processor which can bring a number of improvements to smartphones straddling the mid and upper-mid smartphone markets.

The Snapdragon 670 hit the news a lot in 2018 and it has been previously suggested this SoC was actually the same SoC as the Snapdragon 710 - the suggestion being the 670 would arrive rebranded as the 710. While some may have thought that to be the case when the Snapdragon 710 launched, it's now clear that was not the original plan. In saying this, there is considerable overlap between the Snapdragon 670 and the 710, considering both are built on a 10nm process, utilizing the same Kryo 360 CPU made up of two performance cores (albeit with a slightly less CPU clock speed in this case) and six efficiency cores (same CPU clock speed). This is in addition to both also drawing on the Spectra 250 ISP. However, this in itself is one of the main points to note as Qualcomm states this is the first time the Kryo 360 CPU and the Spectra 250 ISP have been included in a 600-series-branded processor. Considering the 600-series is by design a more affordable series (compared to the 700-series), this sees the power associated with the CPU and the ISP becoming available to more affordable phones in the future.

This affordability factor also has a knock-on effect in other areas as unlike the Snapdragon 710 which comes with an Adreno 616 GPU and a Snapdragon X15 LTE modem, the Snapdragon 670 features an Adreno 615 GPU and the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem. In spite of this slight drop in GPU and modem specifications, the Snapdragon 670 is expected to offer significant improvements compared to its predecessor - the Snapdragon 660. With Qualcomm citing a 15-percent improvement in general CPU performance, a 25-percent improvement in GPU performance, and a 1.8 times increase in AI performance speed. The latter point being one of the main selling points with the 670, as like a number of the most-recent Snapdragon SoC launches, the Snapdragon 670 will focus on offering greater AI support. As Qualcomm puts it, a “premium AI” experience. At present, there’s no word on which devices will be the first to sport the Snapdragon 670, although the first of these devices are expected to arrive in Q3, 2018.

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John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]