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Snapdragon 450 Moves to 14nm

July 18, 2017

Author: Linley Gwennap

Qualcomm has brought a 14nm processor into its low-cost line for the first time, boosting performance and power efficiency. The new Snapdragon 450 upgrades the Snapdragon 435, offering 25% faster CPUs, twice the video speed, greater camera resolution, and other improvements. In addition to increasing performance, the shrink from 28nm to 14nm reduces power consumption for a fixed set of tasks, extending battery life by up to four hours, according to Qualcomm. The 450 is due to appear in smartphones by the end of this year; it targets devices costing as little as $150.

The 450 includes Qualcomm’s Adreno 506 GPU, which scores 10fps on the Manhattan 1080p benchmark—30% better than the Snapdragon 435. The company expects graphics performance to rise 25% across a range of benchmarks. As with the CPUs, the GPU will use about 30% less power on the same tasks, extending battery life when running a particular mobile game, for example.

Whereas the 435 supports dual 8MP cameras, the 450 can handle dual 13MP cameras. The new processor also improves the image signal processor (ISP); for example, it can now provide real-time bokeh. Although other Snapdragon 400 processors can apply this effect to blur the background in an image, the 450 can apply it to the live image on the display, providing a better preview of the photo.

The new processor supports 1080p (FHD) video encoding and decoding at 60fps, twice the 435’s frame rate. This higher rate enables smoother video capture and playback, particularly for fast-moving scenes. The video resolution is appropriate for the maximum display size of FHD+, which represents a standard FHD display extended to 18:9 resolution for taller phones.

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