Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 710 with a multi-core AI Engine
Qualcomm has officially announced the Snapdragon 710, the first system-on-chip in their new 700-tier chipset series. The 710 is the company’s latest chipset in the upper mid-range market of smart devices, succeeding the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 found on devices such as the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, Xiaomi Mi 6X, and BQ Aquaris X2 Pro. The 710, like the high-end Snapdragon 835 and Snapdragon 845, is fabricated on a 10nm manufacturing process.
When compared to the Snapdragon 660:
- Artificial Intelligence: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 introduces a new “multi-core AI Engine” which is said to deliver “up to 2X” improvements in on-device AI application performance. Examples of applications of AI technology include capturing contextually-aware photos and videos and personalizing voice patterns for more natural interactions.
- Capture: The new Spectra 250 ISP allows image capture up to 32MP single ISP and 20MP dual ISP. The AI Engine allows for deep portrait mode effects and facial recognition with “active depth sensing.” This should expand the number of Android devices with portrait mode and face unlock features, which were previously limited to devices mostly from top-tier manufacturers with the ability to develop or purchase the right technology.
- Display: The chipset allows for 4K (3860×2160) High Dynamic Range (HDR) playback. This capability was previously limited to Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 800 tier chipsets. Users will need to have access to content recorded in 4K HDR to take advantage of this capability; popular online video streaming services such as Netflix offer this kind of content on certain payment tiers.
- Connectivity: The new Snapdragon X15 LTE modem is a Category 15 modem that supports up to 800 Mbps download speeds, and Category 7 for up to 300Mbps upload speeds. It also brings 4×4 MIMO technology (up to 2 aggregated carriers) to improve throughput in poor signal conditions. Lastly, License-Assisted Access (LAA) will bring faster connectivity in congested areas.
- Bluetooth: The system-on-chip supports Bluetooth 5 for greater connectivity and throughput of Bluetooth Low Energy transmissions. Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo Plus supports wireless listening and voice calls between a pair of earbuds without needing a wire between them (think Apple AirPods).
- Performance: The new Adreno 616 Visual Processing Subsystem allows for a 40% reduction in power consumption when gaming and playing back 4K HDR content and a 20% reduction in power consumption when streaming video. The 8 CPU cores are built with the Kryo 360 architecture (2x Cortex-A75 @ 2.2GHz and 6x Cortex-A55 @ 1.7GHz). The GPU is the Adreno 616. Many of these details were previously leaked through a reading of kernel source code from Qualcomm’s CodeAurora Forums.
- Battery: The chipset offers Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology, though it should be noted that the manufacturer must license the technology from Qualcomm to activate it on their devices. So far, only the ZTE Nubia Z17, Razer Phone, and the BQ Aquaris X2/X2 Pro support Quick Charge 4+.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 system-on-chip is available today for Qualcomm’s partners and will be shipping on devices in the second quarter of 2018. No devices have been officially confirmed to feature the new chipset, but we have previously identified two unreleased Xiaomi devices with the Snapdragon 710.
Images sourced from Qualcomm, retrieved via Anandtech’s coverage.
Update 3:34PM CT: This article was corrected to reflect that the BQ Aquaris X2 and X2 Pro also support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+.