Tech rumor mongers don't limit themselves to talk about upcoming PC bits and pieces—they also have their collective ears to the ground for information about future smartphone SoCs. Today's call for the salt shaker concerns talk over at SuggestPhone about two chips in Qualcomm's Snapdragon 700-series family. Let's see what all the fuss is about.
The winds suggest that the purported Snapdragon 710 and Snapdragon 730 will both have a pair of high-speed Kryo cores along with six high-efficiency cores running at a more leisurely pace. Both chips will supposedly have the same Adreno 615 GPU running at 750 MHz, though Qualcomm's AI-specific circuitry may be exclusive to the higher-numbered chip.
The rumored Snapdragon 710 looks like it will arrive first, possibly with two Kryo 300-series CPU cores running at up to 2.2 GHz and six efficiency-oriented cores at 1.7 GHz. The leaked information says Samsung will fabricate the chip on Qualcomm's behalf using its 10 LPE process technology. Camera input will flow through Qualcomm's Spectra 250 image processor, a bit of silicon capable of handling images as large as 32 megapixels as well as directing up to three cameras at once.
If the rumors hold true, Qualcomm's hardware partners might have to wait a bit longer for the Snapdragon 730, which could be the first phone SoC made using Samsung's 8 LPP process node. The reports say this chip's two Kryo 400-series cores will chug along at speeds up to 2.3 GHz and the backup singers will hum a 1.8-GHz tune. The GPU will reportedly be the same unit as in the purported Snapdragon 710, but it will work alongside an NPU 120 similar to the one found in the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845. Huawei's high-end Kirin 970 SoC also has specialized silicon said to be dedicated to AI processing. The Spectra 350 ISP has similar specs to the unit in the Snapdragon 710, but adds support for something called an “FS2 sensor,” which we think may refer to a facial ID sensor.
Both chips will reportedly support UFS2.1 and eMMC flash memory, which should help the silicon get into handsets with varying prices and performance levels. The 710 and 730 both support USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 over Type-A or Type-C connectors. As for wireless connectivity, both models have dual-band 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Buyers might have to spring for a Snapdragon 730 in order to get Bluetooth 5.1 instead of the “older” 5.0 that' reportedly baked into the 710.
The rumors don't have any more specific information about when smartphones built around these chips might hit the market. Qualcomm announced the 700-series at Mobile World Congress at the end of February, but was less than forthcoming with details at the time. Back then, the expectation was that devices with the new chips might start appearing at the next MWC. Phones with the Snapdragon 730 might take even longer to appear, given the difficulty that comes with launching new silicon process nodes. HotHardware reports that Qualcomm developed the 700-series to reach “increasing demands of the China smartphone ecosystem,” so it's possible that American gerbils might have to search pretty hard to ever find devices with these models. Thanks to WCCFTech for the tip.