Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 690: 5G & A77 In The Mid-Range

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Today Qualcomm is extending its 5G SoC portfolio down to the Snapdragon 600-series, introducing the new Snapdragon 690 platform and chip. The new design is a more significant upgrade to the 600-series, not only upgrading the cellular capabilities, but also upgrading some of the cornerstone IPs to the newest generation available.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 600-Range SoCs
SoC Snapdragon 660 Snapdragon 662 Snapdragon 665 Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 675 Snapdragon 690
CPU 4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.2GHz

4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz

4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.0GHz

4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz

4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.0GHz

4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz

2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
@ 2.0GHz 

6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz

2x Kryo 460 (CA76)
@ 2.0GHz
 
6x Kryo 460 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz
2x Kryo 560 (CA77)
@ 2.0GHz
 
6x Kryo 560 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz
GPU Adreno 512 Adreno 610 Adreno 615 Adreno 612 Adreno 619L
DSP Hexagon 680  Hexagon 683  Hexagon 686  Hexagon 686  Hexagon 685  Hexagon
692
ISP/
Camera
Spectra 160
24MP
Spectra 340T
25MP single / 16MP dual
Spectra 165
25MP single / 16MP dual
Spectra 250
25MP single / 16MP dual
Spectra 250
25MP single / 16MP dual
Spectra 355L
48MP single / 32+16MP dual
Memory 2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
LPDDR4
14.9GB/s
2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
LPDDR4X
14.9GB/s

1MB system cache

Integrated Modem Snapdragon X12 LTE Snapdragon X11 LTE
(Cat 12/13)

DL = 390Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM

Snapdragon X12 LTE

(Category 12/13)

DL = 600Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM

Snapdragon X51

( LTE )
DL = 1200 Mbps
UL = 210 Mbps

5G NR
Sub-6 
)
DL = 2500 Mbps
UL = 1200 Mbps

Encode/
Decode
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
1080p60
H.264 & H.265
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
Mfc. Process 14nm LPP 11nm LPP 11nm LPP 10nm LPP 11nm LPP 8nm LPP

Although the new Snapdragon 690 maintains its CPU configurations in terms of big and little cores in a 2+6 setup, Qualcomm has managed to include the newest Cortex-A77 IP for the big CPU cores, resulting in a 20% performance uplift thanks to the microarchitectural improvements. The clock speeds remain the same as found in other recent 600-series designs, meaning 2GHz on the big cores and 1.7GHz for the A55 cores.

On the GPU side, we see the shift to a new Adreno 619L design sees a much bigger shift with an up to 60% increase in performance compared to the previous generation Snapdragon 675.

Memory-wise, it’s still a LPDDR4X SoC with dual 16-bit channel support, which is plenty for the bandwidth requirements at this performance segment.

Qualcomm is also trickling down some of the newer higher end multimedia features to the 600-series, such as the newer generation Spectra iSP which is able to support up to 192MP still pictures or up to 48MP sensors with multi-frame noise reduction, or a dual-camera setup in tandem of 32+16MP sensors. The chip has a 10-bit capture and display pipeline, allowing it 4K HDR capture and display – although we didn’t see mention of 4K60 recording.

The key feature of the Snapdragon 690 is its shift towards a 5G modem platform. The integrated X51 modem now adds support for 5G sub-6GHz with global band support. The speeds here scale up to 2500Mbps downstream and 1200Mbps upstream on sub-6 networks, utilising up to 100MHz of spectrum bandwidth. The chip seemingly makes without mmWave connectivity, and this makes a lot of sense given the price range that the 600-series is meant to be used in, as well as the general lack of mmWave adoption in most markets.

“This new platform is designed to make 5G user experiences even more broadly available around the world. Snapdragon 690 also supports remarkable on-device AI and vibrant entertainment experiences. HMD Global, LG Electronics, Motorola, SHARP, TCL, and Wingtech are among the OEMs/ODMs expected to announce smartphones powered by Snapdragon 690.”

We’re expecting the new chip to be deployed in devices by various vendors in the second half of the year.

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