Qualcomm announces four new Snapdragon SoCs
Qualcomm apparently decided against waiting until the MWC exhibition in March and went ahead with announcing four new 64-bit SoCs called Snapdragon 415, 425, 618 and 620. All of them support Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac, hinting that these features are no longer reserved for premium devices. LTE support is present too, though Snapdragon 415 only supports LTE Cat. 4 (150 Mbps download/50 Mbps upload) whereas Snapdragon 425, 618 and 620 all support the newer LTE Cat. 7 standard (300/100 Mbps). USB support is unfortunately still limited to USB 2.0 for all four SoCs.
Other specifications, however, differ considerably. The maximum allowed display resolution of the Snapdragon 415 is listed as 1280x720 pixels but 13 MP cameras with Full HD video recording are supported, so the SoC will be mostly used in medium-priced smartphones. Snapdragon 425 is compatible with Full HD screens and cameras up to 21 MP, making it it suitable for more expensive devices, while Snapdragon 618 and 620 can be used with displays up to 2560x1600 and provide enough bandwidth (930 MP/sec) for Ultra HD 4K video recording at 30 fps or Full HD at 120 fps.
Snapdragon 415 and 425 both contain eight Cortex-A53 processor cores (up to 1.4 and 1.7 GHz, respectively) whereas Snapdragon 618 and 620 use only four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.2 GHz but additionally include two (S618) or four (S620) Cortex-A72 cores running at 1.7 GHz. This is surprising, since ARM promised first Cortex-A72 devices only in the beginning at 2016 but Qualcomm claims that it will ship Snapdragon 425, 618 and 620 already by Q3 2015, while Snapdragon 415 powered devices are expected in the first half of 2015.