Qualcomm Debuts Mid-Range Snapdragon 430, 617 Processors

Chipmaker Qualcomm has released more information about the newest models in its Snapdragon mobile processor line. In addition to the high-end Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm announced today that it would also be bringing the mid-tier 617 (pictured, on left) and 430 models (pictured, in background, on right) to market soon.

Both system-on-a-chip models are designed to bring features usually found in high-end smartphones to mid-range devices, according to the company. The 617 will be the first to be released, coming to market before the end of the year, while the 430 is expected in 2016.

Two New Mid-Tier Models

Both the 617 and the 430 chips will feature dual-ISPs to support devices with cameras capable of capturing photos of up to 21 megapixels. They also come with Qualcomm’s new Quick Charge 3.0, a new power management system also announced today that the company said is capable of supporting charging times up to four times faster than traditional USB cable charging.

Quick Charge 3.0 is designed to charge devices twice as fast as Quick Charge 1.0, the company said. The charging system uses Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV), an algorithm that allows portable devices to determine what power level to request at any point in time, enabling optimum power transfer. It also supports wider voltage options, allowing a mobile device to dynamically adjust to the ideal voltage level supported by that specific device.

The Snapdragon 617 is the lower-end model on paper, but it still shares several capabilities with its higher-end siblings, the 620 and 618, including LTE capabilities with support for Cat 7 download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps, and 2×20 MHz carrier aggregation. The 617 is powered by an octo-core Cortex-A53 CPU running at up to 1.5 GHz, and an Adreno 405 GPU.

Faster Connections

The Snapdragon 430, meanwhile, will be the first device in its tier to feature the new Adreno 505 GPU. The 430 is geared more toward media playback and graphics optimization, with support for 1080p full HD displays and video capture and playback. The 430 also integrates X6 LTE with Cat 4 downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbps, with 2×10 MHz carrier aggregation, and Cat 5 uplink speeds of up to 75 Mbps.

Qualcomm also released new details about its topline Snapdragon 820 processor. The new chip will include an integrated X12 LTE modem. The new modem will support Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps, 33 percent faster than the X10 LTE modem featured in the Snapdragon 810. It will also support Category 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps, triple the peak upload speeds supported by X10 LTE in the Snapdragon 810.

The new processor also has upgraded Wi-Fi capabilities, including 2×2 MU-MIMO support on the 802.11ac protocol, providing double or triple the connection speeds when logging on to a crowded network. It can also support the newest Wi-Fi version, 802.11ad, and has the ability to choose between a LTE or Wi-Fi connection depending on which happens to be the fastest.


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