The first day of Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Tech Summit is often the teaser day: a slow entry into the rest of the event where the technical aspects of the announcements are disclosed. What the teaser day does is often give us the names of Qualcomm’s future products, and today we have that – one of the announcements was the name of the Snapdragon 765 and 765G chips, with an integrated 5G modem on the silicon. We’ll get more details about the hardware tomorrow, but there’s a few things today that have been disclosed and are worth covering.
Qualcomm’s 700-series chips are often targeted more at the mid-upper smartphone market: where the 800-series goes into the flagships, the 700 covers the slightly cheaper devices that are more price sensitive but with most of the same features. This year the Snapdragon 765 and 765G are set to offer a slightly cut down version of the new Snapdragon 865 (also announced today, with more details tomorrow), but it differs in one key aspect in the fact that it has an integrated 5G modem.
While Qualcomm has the X55 external modem for the high performance parts, Qualcomm has integrated what it calls the ‘X52’ 5G modem platform into the 765 and 765G. This modem is still quite powerful according to Qualcomm’s statements: up to 3.7 Gbps download speeds, support for mmWave, Sub 6 GHz, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, NSA, SA, and carrier aggregation. As the modem is on the same silicon as the core, it helps with integration, ensuring that every 765 device will always have a 5G modem, and can also help with power management as well.
For both mmWave and Sub 6 GHz support in the phone, it will require the OEM to decide to add in the correct antenna placement, although Sub 6 GHz and LTE use the same RF front-end, so we expect that only mmWave support would be OEM decided. Qualcomm has designed these chips to be ‘global’ and support as much of the current and future 5G infrastructure as possible.
Technically Qualcomm didn’t really give any more details than that. However, we did notice that for a split second that they did show this slide during the presentation, perhaps in error, at time stamp 46m14:
Here we see that the 765 and 765G will have a Qualcomm Spectra 355 ISP, an Adreno 620 GPU, and a Hexagon 696 DSP. None of these we’ve heard of before, and so are new and the specification are unknown (apparently the Adreno 620 popped up online as part of an unannounced Snapdragon 735 part), so capabilities are a question mark. The difference between 765 amd 765G also hasn’t been disclosed yet, and that ‘G’ doesn’t mean 5G, as both chips have the modem inside.
So ultimately this SoC is going to be pushing 5G connectivity into the hands of more people who can’t afford flagships, but still want a high-end phone. We are getting more details about the chip tomorrow during the technical presentations.