Qualcomm may have a new flagship SoC in the works. According to Roland Quandt of Winfuture.de, the company is developing a new variant of the Snapdragon 888 flagship without an integrated 5G modem. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the chipset will lack 5G support at all. However, by removing the 5G modem, Qualcomm is seemingly aiming the chipset at flagship 4G phones, or as Quandt says, “cheap flagship phones”. Manufacturers should still be able to pair the chipset with an external 5G modem to enable 5G connectivity though.
The new chipset is reportedly identified by the part number SM8325 (the Snapdragon 888 has the part number SM8350). It apparently doesn’t have a marketing name yet. However, there are speculations that it may arrive as the Snapdragon 888 Lite.
Quandt does not specify whether this 5G-less Snapdragon 888 will offer the same set of specifications and features that we get on the regular Snapdragon 888 with an integrated 5G modem. If you recall, Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC is based on a 5nm process. It features an ARM Cortex-X1 performance CPU clocked at 2.84GHz, three Cortex-A78 CPU cores running at 2.4GHz, and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. You can find everything you need to know about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 here.
Qualcomm has a 5G-less Snapdragon 888 in the works
Qualcomm is one of the biggest smartphone chipset vendors in the world. The San Diego, California-based semiconductor giant offers mobile SoCs across various price points. Over the past few months, the company has launched two flagship-grade smartphone chipsets. The Snapdragon 888 arrived early in December 2020, followed by the Snapdragon 870 5G in January this year. The latter is the more affordable of the two.
It appears Qualcomm is now readying a third flagship Snapdragon SoC for 2021. Perhaps the company wants to have a chipset ready for every possible price point and scenario it can think of. Since 5G networks are not available in several parts of the world including India, which is one of the biggest markets for smartphone vendors, Qualcomm wants to offer a 5G-less variant of the Snapdragon 888 flagship that would cost lesser than the one with an integrated 5G modem.
This would allow manufacturers to launch flagship 4G phones at a much lesser price without compromising performance. Ultimately, it’s buyers who benefit from all this. They don’t have to pay a premium for a feature (5G) they can’t use.
It’s unclear though when this chipset may arrive. Qualcomm also has the Snapdragon 775/775G processor in the works. There’s a good chance that we will see this 5G-less Snapdragon 888 arrive alongside the new premium mid-range chipsets in the coming months.