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New Snapdragon 636 will give mid-range phones more punch

The new Snapdragon 636 will give mid-range devices more punch. (Source: Qualcomm)
The new Snapdragon 636 will give mid-range devices more punch. (Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm has officially unveiled the Snapdragon 636. The new chip supersedes the Snapdragon 630 and 660 chipsets and is designed to give mid-range smartphones more performance and overall appeal.

Qualcomm has officially taken the wraps off the Snapdragon 636. The key features of the new chipset are 40 percent faster performance coupled with support for ultra-wide screen displays with 18:9 ratios. Fabricated on a 14nm process, the new 636 is an octa-core design based on Qualcomm’s custom ARM-based Kryo 260 cores. It can be clocked up to 1.8 GHz and paired with up to 8 GB of RAM, which will certainly help to broaden the appeal of devices powered by the new 636.

Less impressive is that the new Adreno 509 GPU offers just a 10 percent boost in performance over its predecessor while there aren’t any speed boosts to LTE, which remains locked in at 600 Mbps on a downlink. Its Spectra 160 image signal processor doesn’t offer a new features, but continues to support camera sensors up to 24 MP. On the bright side, there is support for Qualcomm’s aptX audio over Bluetooth as well as Qualcomm’s newer high-definition Aqistic audio codec. It also supports Qualcomm’s latest Quick Charge 4 technology, which can deliver a zero to 50 percent charge in just 15 minutes.

Qualcomm has highlighted that the new Snapdragon 636 is compatible with existing boards that used its previous generation Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 chipsets. This will appeal to OEMs as they will be able to retain the current internal designs, which should speed up the delivery of devices featuring the new chips when they ship to OEM’s in November.  

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-10-17 (Update: 2017-10-17)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have been particularly interested in all things Apple, but also enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture.