Qualcomm Announces the Snapdragon 636 with Kryo 260 CPU Cores
Five months after launching the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 platforms, Qualcomm has now expanded their mid-range SoC lineup in the 600 series of SoCs by announcing the Snapdragon 636. This new chipset is a direct successor to the Snapdragon 630.
The Snapdragon 636 has a list of major new features which will have an impact on the performance of mid-range phones. While the upper mid-range now has the Snapdragon 660, the lower mid-range segment of the smartphone market has had to use the stock ARM Cortex-A53 cores which were used in the Snapdragon 625, 626 and 630 SoCs. With the Snapdragon 636, this changes as Qualcomm has moved to the Kryo 260 CPU core, which is the same one used in the upper mid-range Snapdragon 660. This results in a 40% improvement in performance over the last generation, according to Qualcomm.
Here is a quick table comparison between the Snapdragon 636 and its predecessor, the Snapdragon 630 as well as the Snapdragon 660:
|Snapdragon 636||Snapdragon 630||Snapdragon 660|
|CPU||8x Kryo 260, clocked at up to 1.8GHz||8x ARM Cortex-A53, clocked at up to 2.2GHz||8x Kryo 260, clocked at up to 2.2GHz|
|GPU||Adreno 509||Adreno 508||Adreno 512|
|Maximum on-device display support||FHD+ (18:9)||1920×1200||2560×1600 WQXGA, QHD|
The CPU core arrangement is octa-core, with 8x Kryo 260 cores, which are 64-bit and are clocked up to 1.8GHz. These CPU cores are fabricated on a 14nm process. The GPU in the Snapdragon 636 is the Adreno 509, which is said to result in 10% better performance over the Adreno 508 used in the Snapdragon 630.
The improvements to the CPU and GPU aren’t the only changes made in the Snapdragon 636. The platform now supports wide aspect ratio FHD+ (2160×1080) displays, a first for the Snapdragon 63x line. This means mid-range phones can now have full-screen 18:9 aspect ratio displays, to help achieve feature parity with flagship smartphones.
The Snapdragon 636 has support for Bluetooth 5.0. It has the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem, which can achieve up to 600Mbps downlink and up to 150Mbps uplink. On the modem side, it also supports 3x20MHz carrier aggregation and up to 256-QAM for downlink, and 2x20MHz carrier aggregation up to 64-QAM for uplink.
The Snapdragon 636 has the dual 14-bit Spectra 160 ISP, and it can support up to 24MP single / 16MP dual cameras. It can capture 4K video at 30FPS, and 1080p video at up to 120FPS. It has support for the H.265 (HEVC) video codec. It also has the Hexagon 680 DSP with support for Qualcomm’s All-Ways Aware technology, the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK, and caffe/caffe2 plus TensorFlow for machine learning applications.
On the audio side, the Snapdragon 636 supports the aptX codec. In terms of charging, it supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4. Also, the maximum memory supported is 8GB of dual-channel LPDDR4/4x RAM at 1,333MHz.
The Snapdragon 636 is pin compatible with the Snapdragon 630 and the Snapdragon 660. It should start shipping in November 2017, so we can expect new phones to use this SoC in the first quarter of 2018.