Tech Guides

Preview: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630

By Lionell Go Macahilig - 12 May 2017

Preview: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630

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Coming soon to your mobile devices

Chipmaker Qualcomm recently announced two new additions to its family of mobile platforms: the Snapdragon 660 and the Snapdragon 630. Described as SoCs (system on a chip), the 660 and the 630 consist of baseband functionalities, software and hardware components, particularly RF front end, integrated Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec, and a speaker amplifier, all necessary for a comprehensive mobile platform.  

Making use of a 14nm FinFET process, the 660 and the 630 can support up to 8GB RAM and Vulkan API as well as do 4K video recording and playback. In terms of display support, the 660 is compatible with displays with up to QHD (2K) screen resolution, while the 630 can go along with FHD/QXGA (1080) screen resolution.

The two new Snapdragon SoCs put emphasis on these seven features:

1. The Qualcomm Spectra 160 premium camera ISP promises to deliver better photos with more natural skin tones, improved low light performance, and higher throughput for dual camera systems. Other features supported include bokeh effects, dual pixel autofocus, enhanced optical zoom, and video recording stabilization.

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2. The Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP features vector extensions (HVX) on the Snapdragon 660, allowing for efficient processing of images, computer vision, and machine intelligence workloads. Both the 660 and the 630 support Qualcomm’s All-Ways Aware technology with support for Google Awareness API.

3. The Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem is integrated in the 660 and the 630, paired with the SDR660 RF transreceiver, capable of supporting downlink data rates of up to 600Mbps. The 660 comes with 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, doubling the data throughput with up to 60% lower download power consumption of the preceding Snapdragon 652. With advanced features such as LTE/Wi-Fi antenna sharing and Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) operation, the 660 offers better wireless coverage in settings where there are hard-to-penetrate barriers. The 660 and the 630 also support Bluetooth 5.0 and integrate powerful location engines with better sensitivity and smoother pedestrian navigation with up to 50% to 75% lower power consumption.

4. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 are the successors of the 653 and the 625 respectively. The 660 is 20% better than the Kryo 260 CPU and 30% better than the Adreno 512 GPU in terms of performance. Meanwhile, the 630 is 10% better than the 625 CPU and 30% better than the Adreno 508 GPU in terms of performance.

5. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4 is featured in the 660 and the 630. With this feature, a five-minute charging can generate up to five hours of talk time, whereas a 15-minute charging can increase a device’s dwindling battery life by up to 50 percent.

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6. Qualcomm’s Mobile Security provides security-focused hardware-based protection, user authentication, and device attestation on the mobile device.

7. Qualcomm’s Neural Processing Engine SDK for the 660 and the 630 enables OEMs and developers to create engaging and immersive experiences with machine learning, together with support for Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow.     

“With the introduction of the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms, we are thrilled that features such as improved image quality and fast LTE speeds will now be available in a wide array of devices without sacrificing performance or quality,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This ensures that a greater number of consumers will be able to take advantage of higher quality user experiences in camera, audio and visual processing, connectivity, improved CPU and GPU performance, fast charging, security and machine learning.”