Hardware

Qualcomm boosts Snapdragon AI performance with new chips for high and mid-tier devices

Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon chips for high and mid-tier devices which benefit from a big jump in AI performance.

There are two new chips in the 7-series – the Snapdragon 730 and 730G – along with one in the 6-series, the Snapdragon 665.

Kedar Kondap, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm, says:

“With the introduction of the Snapdragon 730, 730G and 665 Mobile Platforms, we are bringing features such as sophisticated AI, exceptional gaming and advanced camera capabilities to a broad spectrum of devices at exceptional performance.

Each iteration of Snapdragon drives immense innovation that will surpass customer expectations.”

The base Snapdragon 730 boasts double the AI processing power of its predecessor using Qualcomm’s 4th-gen multi-core AI Engine. A Qualcomm Hexagon 688 processor inside the 730 supports improved base scalar and Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) performance, as well as the new Hexagon Tensor Accelerator.

Qualcomm has also packed in the Spectra 350 which contains a dedicated ISP for computer vision. It claims to provide up to four times as much power savings as its predecessor.

As for the Snapdragon 730G, that ‘G’ stands for ‘gamer’ and intends to boost the gaming performance of devices packing it.

While the 730 features the Adreno 618 GPU, the first time a Qualcomm 7-series chip has supported the Vulkan 1.1 graphics API, the 730G claims to offer 15 percent faster rendering. Furthermore, Qualcomm claims it’s “collaborated with consumers’ favorite game-makers to optimize Snapdragon 730G for a selection of the world’s top-rated games.”

A dedicated ‘Jank Reducer’ feature boasts that it can reduce stutter by up to 90 percent in games running at 30FPS.

Perhaps most impressive, however, is the Snapdragon 665 which brings more capable AI processing abilities to lower-end devices.

While the new 7-series chips feature the 4th-gen, the Snapdragon 665 is packing the 3rd-gen of Qualcomm’s AI Engine with the Hexagon 686 DSP. It too claims to offer double the performance of its predecessor.

Packing the Spectra 165 ISP, the Snapdragon 665 provides AI-powered scene recognition and auto adjustments like HDR. To account for the growing number of unique camera setups on today’s smartphones, it supports up to three cameras which can include telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra-wide lenses.

Qualcomm has also partnered with Morpho to enhance the camera functionality of the Snapdragon chips.

Toshi Torihara, VP of Morpho, commented:

“Morpho is proud to collaborate with Qualcomm to integrate our image processing software on mobile. With the Snapdragon 665 mobile platform, we brought MovieSolid, our state-of-the-art image stabilisation implementation, to deliver industry-leading video experiences to the mobile camera industry.

We believe this partnership will further enhance smartphone camera capabilities, bringing mobile imaging & AI technologies to the next level.”

For gamers, the Snapdragon 665 features the Adreno 610 GPU which also supports the Vulkan 1.1 graphics API to help provide an improved gaming experience for those who on lower-end devices.

Commercial devices based on the Snapdragon 730, 730G, and 665 are expected to be available in mid-2019.

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