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Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 is a 14nm LTE “Mobile Platform” for Mid-Range Smartphones and Tablets

June 28th, 2017 No comments

Qualcomm has a made several announcements at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017, with processors like Snapdragon Wear 1200 Wearables SoC, as well as Snapdragon 450 octa-core mobile platform, allegedly the first 14nm processor made for mid-range mobile devices.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 specifications:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 506 GPU with OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 2.0 Full, DirectX 12, GPU tessellation, geometry shading
  • DSP – Hexagon 546 DSP
  • Memory I/F – LPDDR3
  • Display – Full HD 1080p60; Qualcomm EcoPix,TruPalette, improveTouch technology
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic with VoLTE w/Ultra HD Voice (EVC), high-fidelity music playback (24-bit/192 KHz), Dolby 5.1
  • Modem – Snapdragon X9 LTE modem up to 300 Mbps download (Cat 7) and 150 Mbps uplink (Cat. 13)
  • Wireless Connectivity – 802.11ac MU-MIMO, Gen8C Lite location technology, Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • USB – USB 3.0 interface
  • Camera – Up to 13MP dual camera, up to 21MP single camera; real-time Bokeh, Qualcomm ClearSight camera features
  • Video – 1080p60 HEVC playback and capture
  • Security – Qualcomm “Mobile Security”
  • Fast Charging – Quick Charge 3.0
  • Process – 14nm FinFET technology

The processor is an upgrade to the Snapdragon 435 processor with faster CPU and GPU bringing roughly 25% improvement in performance, better battery life with up to 30 percent reduction in power when gaming,  and better camera support with support for real-time Bokeh effects and dual 13MP cameras. The Snapdragon 450 is also said to be the the first mid-range mobile SoC to supports a USB 3.0 interface.

Sampling is scheduled for Q3 2017, and mobile devices based on the processor are expected by the end of 2017. No product page has been setup on Qualcomm website yet.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 Platform for Wearables Supports LTE Cat M1 and NB1 (NB-IoT)

June 28th, 2017 No comments

After Snapdragon Wear 2100 and 1100 launched last year , Qualcomm has announced a new Snapdragon Wear 1200 platform still designed for wearables, but with lower power consumption, less processing power, a more compact package, and built-in support for LTE IoT communications standards such as LTE Cat M1 and LTE NB-IoT (Cat NB1).

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 key features and specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.3 GHz
  • Memory / Storage – Support for discreet or MCP NAND and LPDDR2
  • Display – Support via SPI for simple UI and displays
  • Modem
    • Global multi-mode supporting Cat-M1 / NB1 / E-GPRS.
    • Supports LTE FDD and TDD for Cat-M1 and E-GRPS and FDD only for Cat-NB1
    • Up to 300 kbps downlink and 350 kbps uplink for Cat-M1
    • 10 kbps download and 60 kbps upload speeds for Cat-NB1
    • Integrated voice support for VoLTE
  • Other Connectivity – Pre-integrated support for Qualcomm 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 / Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Location
    • GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou constellations supported
    • Accurate Wi-Fi and cellular positioning, optimized for Cat-M1/NB1
    • Low power Geo-Fencing
    • Qualcomm Cloud Based Location Services with   day GNSS predicted orbits service, Qualcomm end-to-end Global Terrestrial Positioning (GTP) Wi-Fi
      and cellular service
  • Security
    • Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment
    • Wireless protocol security
    • Hardware based security with Secure Boot/storage/debug, hardware crypto engine, hardware random number generator, and Trustzone
  • Power Management
    • Ultra-low Rock Bottom Sleep Current (RBSC) for extended standby
    • Power Save Mode (PSM)
    • Extended Discontinuous Receive (eDRX)
    • Charging – Companion charging chipset
  • Package / Process – 79mm2 package; 28nm manufacturing process

The product brief actually mention an ARM Cortex-A1 core, but this must be a mistake, as later on Qualcomm explains the platform is cost-optimized to reduce the BOM and NRE with an ARM Cortex A7 core “eliminating the need for MCUs” . The company also claims the solution is scalable thanks to broad software re-use, and the possibility to add voice, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The solutions is also said to last 10 day on a charge with LTE standy, when paired with 350 mAh battery and using eDRX.

Linux and ThreadX operating systems will be supported, and while Wear 1200 chipset is supposed to target wearables such as kid, pet, elderly, and fitness trackers, I’d assume it might also be useful for some IoT applications like GPS trackers provided it’s cost-effective. Reference designs from Borqs and Quanta are available in order to allow manufacturers to bring products to market quickly. You may be able to find a few more details on Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 product page.

Qualcomm Announces Audio Platforms for Smart Speakers, Headphones, and Hearables

June 15th, 2017 No comments

Smart speakers are getting a lot of buzz recently with products like Amazon Echo or Google Home, and many home automation products are advertised with Amazon’s Alexa support, so that they can be controlled by voice commands. Qualcomm is now going after this market, and others audio markets via 5 new platforms for streaming audio, high resolution audio, wireless audio, USB -C audio devices – due to the “death” of the 3.5mm headphone jack -, and hearables.

The five platforms include:

  1. Bluetooth and BLE Audio SoCs such as Qualcomm CSRA68100 for premium wireless speakers and headphones. The SoC comes with flash, DSP, a 2-ch audio CODEC, USB & I/Os interfaces.
  2. Qualcomm QCC3xxx entry-level Bluetooth audio SoC for mid to low-cost Bluetooth headsets and speakers.
  3. Qualcomm WHS9420 (192kHz/24-bit audio) and WHS9410 (entry-level) USB-C audio SoC for USB-C headphones
  4. Qualcomm DDFA Digital Amplifier Technology with CSRA6xxx amplifier
  5. Smart Speaker Platform shown above based on APQ8017 or APQ8009 (Snapdragon 212) SoCs, and DDFA amplifier, and interacting with Bluetooth and USB-C solutions listed above.

The Smart Speaker Platform will support multi-mic far-field voice capability with “highly responsive voice activation and beamforming technologies”, multi-room audio streaming through Qualcomm AllPlay, and AptX HD audio technology. Support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Google Cast Audio is coming later this year,

You may be able to find more details about Android and Linux solutions based on APQ8009 and APQ8017 on that Qualcomm page (provided you can gain access).

The Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform is expected to be available in Q3 2017.

Intrynsic Open-Q 835 Development Kit Features Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Processor, Support Android 7 and Windows 10

June 7th, 2017 1 comment

Intrinsyc has just launched one of the first development boards powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with their Open-Q 835 devkit equipped with 4GB LPDDR4x, 128GB UFS 2.1 flash, 802.11ad WiFi, dual camera support and more.

Open-Q 835 Devkit with Cooling Plate Underneath

Open-Q 835 development kit is comprised of a “processor board” and a baseboard with the following specifications:

  • Processor Board
    • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (APQ8098) octa-core processor with four high performance Kryo 280 cores @ 2.20 GHz/ 2.30 GHz (single core operation), four low power Kryo cores @ 1.9 GHz, Adreno 540 GPUwith  OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 Full support, and Hexagon 682 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (dual-HVX512)
    • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4x RAM
    • Storage – 128GB UFS2.1 Gear3 2 lane Flash
    • Connectivity
      • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5Ghz 2×2
      • Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE
      • WiGig60 802.11ad with on-board antenna
    • Dimensions – 70 x 60 mm
  • Carrier Board
    • Display – 1x HDMI 2.0 out up to 4K Ultra HD, 2x 4 lane MIPI DSI + Touch Panel connector for optional LCD panel accessory
    • Audio
      • On-board Audio Codec; Audio in & out expansion headers, 1x ANC Headset Out
      • Optional SW features – Qualcomm Fluence HD with Noise Cancellation, high fidelity music playback 24-bit/192kHz, Dolby 5.1 support
    • Camera
      • 3x 4-lane MIPI CSI connectors
      • Dual Qualcomm Spectra 180 ISP
      • Optional SW Features – Qualcomm Clear Sight camera; Hybrid Autofocus, Optical Zoom; HW-accelerated Face Detection; HDR Video Record
    • Other Interfaces
      • GNSS daughter card with GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo, PCB antenna and SMA connector option
      • 1x UART debug (USB micro-B)
      • 1x USB3.1 Type C
      • 1x uSD 3.0 UHS-1
      • I2S, SPI, GPIO, sensor header
    • Power Supply – 12V/3A DC; optional 3,000 Li-Ion battery
    • Dimensions  — 170mm x 170mm (mini-ITX form factor)

The company provides support for Android 7 Nougat, and Windows 10 should be feasible too but you are asked to “contact sales”. An optional WQHD AMOLED LCD is also available. Intrynsic explains the development kit is particularly suited for OEMS and device makers evaluating the processor and peripherals, and for premium mobile device development.

The “Early Adopter Version” of Open-Q 835 development kit can be purchased for $1,149, subject to an approval process. You may be able to find additional details on the product page.

Windows 10 ARM Mobile PCs Demonstrated with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC at Computex 2017

June 1st, 2017 13 comments

Windows on ARM has been tried before with Windows RT, but the systems were crippled, and it was not exactly a success. Microsoft and Qualcomm are now giving it another try with ARM mobile computers running the full version Windows 10 on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and Asus, HP, and Lenovo building devices based on the solution.

There are plenty of inexpensive Intel PCs running Windows 10, so what would be the benefits of using Snapdragon 835 SoC? Qualcomm explains that it’s the first to coming integrate Gigabit LTE, it offers up to 50% longer battery life in specific use cases like watching videos and gaming, and thanks to big.LITTLE technology provides up to 4 to 5 times improvement in battery life compared to Intel’s solutions.

Windows 10 does not have the same limitations as Windows RT had, and you can do pretty everything that you would on an Intel PC, including installing and running 32-bit x86 application thanks to an emulation layer that convert x86 instructions to ARM ones.

Qualcomm Mobile PC Board vs Intel Mobile PC Board

Mobile Geeks filmed a demo in Qualcomm booth, showing Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Outlook, installing a 32-bit x86 application, multi-tab web browsing over an LTE connection, and playing some YouTube video, including a 4K video. As a side note, the demo guy told the “legal department told him to only show Qualcomm content”, probably because of inane copyrights laws. That’s really ridiculous that those laws apply to showing a 10s clip for an hardware demo. But I digress, and it was stressed again that it was the first time big.LITTLE was supported in Windows 10, and allowed for much better efficiency.

Via Liliputing

Qualcomm Unveils Mesh Networking WiFi Router / Gateway Reference Design Powered by IPQ40x8/9 NSoC

May 30th, 2017 2 comments

Qualcomm has just announced the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform for OEM and broadband providers to design home WiFi routers/gateways capable of providing “robust and consistent connectivity”, and feature voice control capabilities, centralized management and security, and a range of mesh system features.

In order to speed up adoption the the platform, the company introduced the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Reference Design with the following key features & benefits:

  • Network System-on-Chip (NSoC) – Qualcomm IPQ40x8/9 network system-on-chip with four Cortex A7 cores, 802.11ac WiFi 2×2+2×2, network and crypto accelerators
  • Qualcomm Wi-Fi Self-Organizing (SON) feature suite will ensure corner-to-corner Wi-Fi coverage, easy set-up, automatic management and traffic optimization, as well as additional security safeguards.
  • Carrier-Grade features with Wi-Fi SON APIs, cloud-based diagnostics
  • Integrated voice capabilities thanks to built-in microphone array and speaker, voice recognition software, and APIs support for popular cloud-based assistant applications.
  • Variety of backhaul options to be used to maximize the performance of mesh networks (802.11ac, 802.11ad, 802.11ax, or Powerline technologies)
  • Qualcomm IoT Connectivity Feature Suite will ensure simultaneous use of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, CSRmesh, and 802.15.4 connectivity

Qualcomm is – as usual – light on details, but at least that means your future WiFi routers will work better by using mesh technology for better coverage in your home, and may also be used as your IoT gateway, and Google Home/Amazon Echo replacement.

Via AnandTech

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core Processor To Feature ARM Cortex A75 Cores (Reports)

May 22nd, 2017 7 comments

According to reports from China, Qualcomm’s next application processor (or rather mobile platform) will be Snapdragon 845, and if accurate, the comparison table below between the Snapdragon processor and Hisilicon Kirin 970 SoC shows the former will be powered by some customized (魔改) version of yet-to-be announced ARM Cortex 75 cores.

Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor will be manufactured using Samsung 10nm LPE processor, come with four custom Cortex A75 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, an Adreno 630 GPU, and an LTE X20 modem supporting LTE Cat 18 for up to 1.2 Gbps download speed. Other features like 802.11ad (High bandwidth, short range WiFi), UFS 2.1, and LPDDR4X were already found on earlier model.

I’ve been unable to find further details about ARM Cortex A75 right now, and we have to wait until ARM Techcon 2017 before getting more details. Mobile phones powered by Snapdragon 845 are supposed to start shipping in Q1 2018.

Via Wccftech

Qualcomm Introduces Snapdragon 630 and 660 “Mobile Platforms” for Mid-Range Smartphones & Tablets

May 9th, 2017 2 comments

Qualcomm has announced two new Snapdragon SoCs Mobile Platforms, namely Snapdragon 630 and 660, with the aim of introducing “high-end features” to mid-range devices. Both chips come with eight cores, an Adreno GPU, and are manufactured with 14nm FinFET technology.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 630

Key features:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex A53 clocked at up to 2.2 GHz (low power cluster up to 1.8 GHz)
  • GPU – Adreno 508 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full,Vulkan, DX12
  • DSP – Hexagon 642 DSP
  • Memory I/F –  LPDDR4, dual channel up to 1333MHz, 8GB RAM
  • Storage I/F – eMMC and UFS flash
  • Display – Up to 1920×1200 resolution; DisplayPort and USB type-C support
  • Video – Up to 4K @ 30 fps playback and capture; H.264, H.265 and VP9 codecs
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier; Qualcomm aptX audio playback
  • Camera – Up to 24MP single camera, up to 13MP dual camera; Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP
  • Modem – Snapdragon X12 LTE modem: Cat 12 for downlink (600 Mbps max); Cat 13 for uplink (150 Mbps max)
  • Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi, Bluetooth 5
  • Location – GPS, Glanass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS
  • Security – Qualcomm Mobile Security: camera security,  app protect, Qualcomm processor security
  • Charging – Quick Charge 4 technology

Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

 

  • CPU – 8x Kryo 260 cores clocked at up to 2.2 GHz (low power cluster up to 1.8 GHz)
  • GPU – Adreno 512 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full,Vulkan, DX12
  • DSP – Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX)
  • Memory I/F –  LPDDR4, dual channel up to 1866MHz, 8GB RAM
  • Storage I/F – eMMC and UFS flash
  • Display – Up to 2560×1600 resolution; DisplayPort and USB type-C support
  • Video – Up to 4K @ 30 fps playback and capture; H.264, H.265 and VP9 codecs
  • Audio – Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier; Qualcomm aptX audio playback
  • Camera – Up to 24MP single camera, up to 16MP dual camera; Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP
  • Modem – Snapdragon X12 LTE modem: Cat 12 for downlink (600 Mbps max); Cat 13 for uplink (150 Mbps max)
  • Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi, Bluetooth 5
  • Location – GPS, Glanass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS
  • Security – Qualcomm Mobile Security: camera security,  app protect, Qualcomm processor security, hardware token
  • Charging – Quick Charge 4 technology

Snapdragon 660 is an upgrade to 653 with about 20 percent improvement in CPU performance, and 30 percent in GPU performance. Snapdragon 630 CPU & GPU are respectively about 10% and 30% faster compared to the ones in Snapdragon 626.

Products based on Snapdragon 660 SoC should hit the shelves in Q2, while Snapdragon 630 mobile devices will start selling in Q3. You’ll find more details on Snapdragon 630 and 660 product pages.