Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 and 660 SoCs go for the middle lane

Apple A-Series and Qualcomm 800-series SoCs get the lion's share of attention in the mobile space, but not everyone buys an iPhone or a high-end Android device. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 and 660 SoCs are aimed at the soft center of the Android device market with their eight CPU cores in a big.LITTLE arrangement and upgraded graphics compared to the company's last round of mid-grade offerings. Qualcomm also touts the upgraded image signal processing, DSP, and Quick Charge 4 capabilities baked into the new Snapdragons.

The Snapdragon 630 has four Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 2.2 GHz with another quartet clocked at 1.8 GHz, along with an Adreno 508 GPU. Qualcomm claims that Adreno 508 is 20% faster than the unit found in the previous-generation Snapdragon 626. Curiously, the company doesn't say whether the CPU performance in this new model is improved compared to its forebear.

Qualcomm's beefier Snapdragon 660 has four of Qualcomm's proprietary Kryo 260 Performance CPU cores boogieing at 2.2 GHz backed up by four Kryo 260 Efficiency cores at a more modest 1.8 GHz. The manufacturer claims this setup should result in a total CPU performance boost of up to 20% compared to the Snapdragon 653. An Adreno 512 GPU is along for the ride, with a claimed 30% boost over the GPU in ye olde Snapdragon 653.

Both Snapdragons pack Qualcomm's X12 LTE modem capable of a theoretical 600 Mbps downstream bandwidth, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. The Snapdragon 660 is available to manufacturing partners now. The company hopes to see devices with the 660 SoCs hitting shelves during the second quarter. Qualcomm expects to start shipping Snapdragon 630 chips before the end of the month, and expects that devices using it will ship by the end of the third quarter.

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