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Qualcomm Rolls More Snapdragon 7s

October 6, 2020

Author: Mike Demler

Qualcomm is on a roll with the Snapdragon 750G, its fourth new 7-series processor this year. Although the 750G provides greater CPU, DSP, and GPU performance than all but the 768G, it reflects the mid-premium segment’s intense competition by targeting phones that sell for just $400. It integrates the company’s X52 modem to support Verizon and other millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G operators. The new chip is in production now, and Xiaomi plans to release the first 750G-based phone later this quarter. We expect other handset makers such as LG and Samsung to employ the processor in phones for the US market.

The Snapdragon 750G uses the same die as the 690, but by eliminating the mmWave RF components, the latter is a lower-cost entry point for 5G markets such as China, which has only deployed sub-6GHz networks. By offering pin-compatible chips, Qualcomm lets OEMs employ one reference design to build multiple products, reducing manufacturing cost. The new product lowers the entry barrier for mmWave phones, whereas the chip’s higher CPU and GPU speeds should appeal to consumers willing to pay Verizon’s $10 uplift charge.

Over the past year, Qualcomm has expanded the 7-series from one model to four, slicing the $300–$600 mid-premium tier into wafer-thin segments with little differentiation. According to our CPU metric, single-thread performance covers a 25% range, but multithread performance covers just 10%. From bottom to top, this tier will give users only a 15% difference in graphics throughput, although neural-network acceleration increases by 50%. Instead of performance, the main differentiation comes from the modem: LTE, sub-6GHz 5G, and mmWave 5G models all target different operators with similar performance.

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