Qualcomm Announces Mid-Range Snapdragon 430, 617 Chips With High-End Features

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 430 and Snapdragon 617, two new mid-range chips in its lineup that also come with brand new features such as the Hexagon DSP, dual-ISPs and Quick Charge 3.0 that its higher-end chips will also have next year.

Snapdragon 430

The Snapdragon 430 looks like a direct successor to the Snapdragon 410, this year's low-end/mid-range 64-bit chip from Qualcomm. It comes with an Adreno 505 GPU, as part of the new Adreno 500 series that supports OpenGL ES 3.1, Android Extension Pack and OpenCL 2.0, a Hexagon 536 DSP, dual-ISPs that support up to 21MP sensors, and an "X6" LTE modem that supports Cat 4 speeds for download (150 Mbps) and Cat 5 speeds for upload (75 Mbps via 64-QAM).

Unlike the Snapdragon 410, which was a quad-core SoC, Qualcomm seems to have joined Mediatek in pushing more cores into its chips, and now the Snapdragon 430 also features eight Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 1.2 GHz. Whether the cost of adding four more cores is worth the extra performance is probably a moot point by now, as the market seems to want eight CPU cores or more in its devices, and is willing to pay for it (or at least that's what the chip makers believe).

Snapdragon 617

The Snapdragon 617 isn't a successor to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 618 and 620, as the name implies; instead, it will sit right below them in terms of pricing and performance.

The new chip comes with eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz, a Hexagon 546 (which looks to be slightly higher-end than the one in the Snapdragon 430), dual-ISPs supporting sensors up to 21MP, an Adreno 405 GPU (which is still this year's generation), and an X8 LTE modem with Cat 7 download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The modem will also support 2x20 MHz carrier aggregation.

The Snapdragon 430 and 617 will both pair with WTR 2965, the new cost-optimized RF transceiver for global carrier aggregation, and will also support Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology for faster charging in emergency situations (not recommended for regular charging as it can cause battery degradation).

The Snapdragon 617 is expected to arrive in devices by the end of this year, while the Snapdragon 430 should arrive in Q2 next year.

Qualcomm also announced that its Snapdragon 410 chip, designed to bring 64-bit computing and LTE to sub-$150 devices, is now in 200 million units (550 SKUs), sold by over 60 OEMs globally. The lower-end Snapdragon 210 (LTE, 32-bit) designed for developing nations has also been used in over 200 designs that have either shipped or are in the pipeline.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Oh buzz off Qualcomm. What happened to Snapdragon 425, 618 and 620 which were announced back in *February*? Why isn't there a single product on the market with them still, and only now there are *rumors* of a Samsung mid-range phone (most likely overpriced like mad for what it offers) with a S620 when I just settled on getting the Moto X Style with its S808? Then they wonder how Mediatek etc are catching up despite crappy SoCs they're pumping out...