Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 670 mobile system-on-a-chip, a mid-range processor destined for value smartphones, which sits just below the recently launched Snapdragon 710 in Qualcomm's mobile chip hierarchy.
The Snapdragon 670 has the same CPU configuration as the 710, a Kryo 360 octa-core CPU with two fast cores for demanding work running at 2GHz, and six cores running at 1.7GHz for the more humdrum stuff. This represents a combination of ARM Cortex-A55 and A75 IP cores based on the big.LITTLE architecture (PDF).
Qualcomm claims that it will provide a 25 per cent performance boost over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 660, but features an inferior GPU: the Adreno 615, compared to the Snapdragon 710's Adreno 616. Here, the performance gap between the two parts will really tell, with the Adreno 616 around 25 per cent more powerful than the Adreno 615.
Other elements of the Snapdragon 660 are also inferior. It comes equipped with the X12 LTE modem, which doesn't support 4x4 MIMO and downloads. Downloads will therefore max-out at 600Mbps compared to around 800Mbps on the Snapdragon 710, while upload speeds run up to 150Mbps. There's also no HDR capture support and display is limited to a best of FHD+.
However, the X12 LTE modem can automatically switch between mobile and WiFi depending on the strength of the signal.
Qualcomm has thrown in its Spectra 250 image signal processor (ISP) - the first 600-series device to come with it - to support various camera features, including image stabilisation, noise reduction and active depth sensing, and will support ultraHD video capture and either 25 megapixels in a single camera or dual 16MP cameras.
The Snapdragon 670 will also offer better power consumption; indeed, Qualcomm claims that it will be 30 per cent more power efficient than the Snapdragon 660.
Qualcomm has also thrown-in its AI Engine, so the Snapdragon 670 can support neural networks, the TensorFlow machine-learning framework, Caffe and Caffe2 and other artificial intelligence development tools.
With the pins and software compatible with the Snapdragon 710, mobile device makers will be able to mix-and-match the two with relative ease.
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