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Snapdragon 670 Extends Midrange

August 21, 2018

Author: Linley Gwennap

Qualcomm’s newest smartphone processor brings premium features to a midrange price point. The Snapdragon 670 offers performance and features similar to those of the Snapdragon 710 but slightly dialed down. It upgrades last year’s Snapdragon 660 with 10nm technology, greater single-core performance, a faster GPU, and much better AI capabilities. The new chip is already in production and should appear in phones later this quarter. We expect these phones will sell for $250 and up.

The 670 employs the same 2+6 CPU configuration as the 710, which features two high-performance Cortex-A75 cores and six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. For the 670, however, the company limits the A75 cores to 2.0GHz, 10% slower than in the 710. Similarly, the 670 uses the same GPU as the 710, but it delivers about 10% less performance, presumably owing to a lower maximum clock speed.

Whereas the 710 handles 3x carrier aggregation (3xCA) and 4x4 MIMO for a maximum downlink rate of 800Mbps, the 670 is limited to 2x2 MIMO and 600Mbps, the same as the 660. The new chip also provides a full suite of other wireless-connectivity functions, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MU-MIMO, which can reach speeds of up to 867Mbps. It uses the same platform components as the 710, simplifying handset development, and the 10nm technology should reduce power consumption relative to older 14nm models.

By reusing the 710 design, Qualcomm has quickly brought to market two new processors for mid-premium smartphones. The 670 offers a lower-cost alternative to the 710 while still delivering impressive performance and a solid upgrade over last year’s 636 and 660. The Snapdragon 670 provides important performance advantages over the Helio P60 while allowing Qualcomm to position the Snapdragon 710 for higher-price smartphones.

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