Today, Qualcomm launched a set of new SoCs, namely the Snapdragon 616, 412, and 212. These are updates to the Snapdragon 615, 410, and 210 respectively.

If you were to guess that these are relatively minor updates, you’d be right. First off, the Snapdragon 616 leaves the 615 mostly unchanged, with the top clockspeed of the little cluster jumping from 1 GHz to 1.2 GHz. However it should be noted that there are iterations of the 615 with a 1.11 GHz little cluster clock as well.

Qualcomm's SoC Refresh Lineup
  Snapdragon 616 Snapdragon 412 Snapdragon 212
Manufacturing Process 28nm LP 28nm LP 28nm LP
CPU 4 x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz
4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
4 x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.4GHz 4 x ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.3GHz
ISA 32/64-bit ARMv8-A 32/64-bit ARMv8-A 32-bit ARMv7
GPU Adreno 405 Adreno 306 Adreno 304
H.265 Decode Yes (1080p) Yes (720p) Yes (1080p)
Memory Interface 32-bit LPDDR3-800 32-bit LPDDR2/3-600 32-bit LPDDR2/3-533
Integrated Modem 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA
Integrated WiFi Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac 1-stream 802.11n 1-stream 802.11n 1-stream
eMMC Interface 4.51 4.51 4.5

Meanwhile the Snapdragon 410 to 412 upgrade is a bit bigger, with the single cluster of A53s going from 1.2 GHz to 1.4 GHz and the memory interface going from a max of 533 MHz to 600 MHz. The Snapdragon 210 to 212 upgrade on the other hand is similar to the 615 to 616 upgrade, with the single cluster of A7s going from 1.1 to 1.3 GHz and are otherwise unchanged.

Overall it’s a bit unfortunate that none of these SoCs have made the move from a traditional polySiON gate oxide to a high-k metal gate process yet. However I suspect that in these lower tiers even the cost of HKMG would dramatically affect competitiveness and price.

Finally, at this point it's unclear when these new variants will begin shipping, but it’s likely that this part is sampling now. Which means that devices with these new SoCs should be available before the end of the year.

Source: Qualcomm

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  • MartinT - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Oh great, yet more "new SOCs" featuring ARM reference cores. Exactly what everyone has been asking for, Qualcomm!
  • Morawka - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    when apple released the A7, i bet qualcomm engineers didn't even have a 64bit cpu prototype on a paper napkin. and it looks like they are taking their time to learn cpu core design all over again, because it's been almost 3 years.

    They paid for this mistake tho.. huge layoff's and a rapid declining market cap.

    meanwhile samsung is flexing it muscles and so is intel with their new cat6 modem. Qualcomm really needs to pull a rabbit out of their hat to make 2016 fall lineup with custom krait cores.
  • michael2k - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    If you are correct, that they didn't even have a prototype on a napkin, then the three years spent have literally been spent developing Kryo from the ground up. It has nothing to do with taking their time as it literally takes that long to develop a new product. In other words, it isn't that Apple designs a brand new iPhone every year, they develop a brand new iPhone every other year and have, likely, a second time developing the S variants every two years (based on the still not released non S variant).

    In other words; 2012 was the iPhone 5 release; at that time there was a team already one year into the iPhone 5S release while a second team was working on the iPhone 6.

    If Qualcomm hadn't even started Kryo in 2012 when the iPhone 5 was released then it explains the long delay since it wouldn't have normally been ready until 2016 anyway.
  • Morawka - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    based on your response, that's a 4 year gap for qualcom and a 3 year gap for apple. It looks like apple took only 3 years to make the a7 based on their acquisition of PS Semi which was bought in Sept 2009. Take into account a 6 month company and engineer integration cycle.

    what is truly telling is the comments from a qualcomm employee when the a7 was released


    “The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software will not benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it is like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it"

  • Maxpower2727 - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    Krait is done. Next year's high-end Qualcomm SOCs will include their new Kryo core.
  • testbug00 - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    next year? You crazy.
  • quiksilvr - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Why is the 212 capable of 1080p H.265 decode but the 412 only capable of 720p? That doesn't make any sense.
  • quiksilvr - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Also according to Qualcomm's site, the 412 is not capable of AC Wireless. It's still 1-stream 802.11n Integrated digital core.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Corrected. Thanks!
  • igeekone - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    I too was puzzled why a seemingly lower end SoC can do 1080p and not the next one up. That's either a typo or for some reason the 412 is not more capable than the 212, despite the better specs.

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