Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2: premium segment SoC gets a Cortex-X CPU core

Qualcomm declares Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2: premium phase SoC will get a Cortex-X CPU core

After a 2021/2022 product cycle a little bit extra iAttention-grabbing Than maybe Qualcomm would have preferred, 2023 has been a a lot simpler 12 months for the prolific SoC and mobile modem vendor. After releasing the primary member of the Gen 2 household earlier this 12 months with the flagship-class Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the corporate is getting ready to maneuver to the following part of its product stack with the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 Qualcomm’s conventional $400 to $600 “premium” market phase, which focuses on flagship options with extra modest efficiency and value, for Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2, Qualcomm goals to supply a dramatic efficiency increase to the platform .

Positioned because the successor to final 12 months’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, this 12 months’s iteration of the Snapdragon 7 is, typically, extra centered on boosting efficiency than including options. Whereas the Gen 1 portion of final 12 months added mmWave assist and new CPU and GPU architectures, particularly ARMv9 structure CPU cores, there are just a few new options this 12 months. Instead of that, nevertheless, is what Qualcomm is touting as one of many greatest efficiency enhancements ever for the Snapdragon 7 household. This was made doable largely by a much-welcomed change from the beleaguered 4nm strategy of Samsung to TSMC’s 4nm course of, mirroring the change Qualcomm made final 12 months for the well-received Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mid-cycle portion.

Additionally new this 12 months, Qualcomm is hinting that this may not be the one Snapdragon 7 Gen 2 half we’ll see this 12 months, confronted with the choice to launch their first Gen 2 half as 7+ as a substitute of seven. In merely put, launching as a Snapdragon 7+ half leaves room for Qualcomm to launch a vanilla Snapdragon 7 half later. Admittedly, Qualcomm is not explicitly saying any such half now, however there’s little cause to launch a 7+ first except they’ve one thing beneath it deliberate; in any other case they might have launched it as a 7 half just like the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, which was at all times a one-chip stack.

Qualcomm Snapdragon class 7 SoC
SoC Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
processor 1x Cortex-X2
at 2.91GHz

3x Cortex-A710
at 2.49GHz

4x Cortex-A510
at 1.8GHz

1x Cortex-A710
at 2.4GHz

3x Cortex-A710
at 2.36GHz

4x Cortex-A510
at 1.8GHz

GPUs adreno adreno
DSP/NPU hexagon hexagon
Ticket inspector
2 16-bit channels

at 3200MHz LPDDR5 / 25.6GB/sec

2 16-bit channels

at 3200MHz LPDDR5 / 25.6GB/sec

ISP/digital camera Triple ISP 18-bit spectra

1x 200MP or 108MP with ZSL
64+36MP with ZSL
3x 32MP with ZSL

4K HDR video and 64MP burst seize

Triple ISP 14-bit spectra

1x 200MP or 84MP with ZSL
64+20MP with ZSL
3x 25MP with ZSL

4K HDR video and 64MP burst seize

4K60 H.265 10-bit

DolbyVision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG

1080p240 gradual movement recording

4K30 H.265 10-bit

DolbyVision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG

720p480 gradual movement recording

built-in modem X62 built-in

(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)

DL = 4400Mbps
Twin SIM energetic 5G/4G (DSDA)

X62 built-in

(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)

DL = 4400Mbps

mfc. Processes TSMC 4nm Samsung 4nm

By way of CPU group, Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 maintains the identical 1+3+4 CPU core configuration that we’ve got seen in the previous few generations of the Snapdragon 7 household. The large information right here is that the best performing Prime core is leading to a major efficiency enchancment, as Qualcomm switches from utilizing a barely increased clocked mid-core to utilizing a better performing CPU structure.

So, for the primary time ever for a Snapdragon 7 half, Qualcomm is leveraging one among Arm’s Cortex-X cores for the Prime core. The Cortex-X2 used right here is technically Arm’s earlier era design, so it will not trample on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and its Cortex-X3 core. However in comparison with the A710 core used for the 7 Gen 1 Prime core (and seven+ Gen 2 mid-cores), the Cortex-X2 represents a major enchancment in each IPC and clock velocity. In consequence, the height clock velocity for the Prime core jumped from 2.4GHz to 2.91GHz, which additional provides to the IPC features of the extra advanced core.

All instructed, Qualcomm is touting “as much as” 50% CPU efficiency enchancment for 7+ Gen 2 in comparison with 7 Gen 1; just about all of this comes from the brand new Prime core.

The tradeoff is that such a big efficiency increase is simply actually accessible for single-threaded workloads, since there’s just one Cortex-X2 core. The three mid-range (efficiency) cores are as soon as once more primarily based on Cortex-A710 and are clocked 2% increased than earlier than. Thus, the 7+ Gen 1 will not see large features on closely multithreaded workloads. The improved power effectivity of TSMC’s 4nm course of ought to repay, however a few of these features have been invested in making that power-hungry Cortex-X2 viable from a battery life perspective.

In the meantime, the 7+ Gen 2 additionally incorporates a sooner Adreno GPU. As has been the case with Qualcomm’s built-in GPUs for a few generations now, the corporate would not assign them a product quantity, not to mention reveal important architectural particulars, so there is a restricted quantity of element we are able to share. Primarily based on the characteristic abstract, it would not seem like utilizing the brand new GPU structure of the 8 Gen 2; so it will seem that Qualcomm integrated a bigger model of their present GPU and virtually actually gave it a wholesome clock velocity increase.

In any case, the GPU efficiency expectations for the brand new SoC are important: Qualcomm boasts an enormous 2x efficiency enchancment over 7 Gen 1, a platform that delivered solely 20% greater than its predecessor. Whereas these aren’t flagship SoCs, Qualcomm nonetheless likes to place the Snapdragon 7 sequence as a superb match for gaming smartphones, particularly in China, so it isn’t too shocking to see Qualcomm investing a lot in GPU efficiency.

All in all, Qualcomm is touting a 13% enchancment in energy effectivity over the 7 Gen 1, no less than on an “prolonged each day use” foundation. The transfer to TSMC’s 4nm course of ought to yield important dividends as evidenced by final 12 months’s 8+ Gen 1 half, however on the similar time it is clear that Qualcomm has invested a superb portion of those features into enhancing general efficiency.

Feeding the dragon is a 32-bit (twin 16-bit) LPDDR5 reminiscence controller. In contrast to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the 7+ Gen 2 doesn’t assist sooner LPDDR5X reminiscence, which signifies that the established order reigns for the Snapdragon 7 household. On this case, which means assist for reminiscence speeds as much as LPDDR5- 6400, which reaches 25.6GB/second of reminiscence bandwidth. In distinction to the numerous will increase in CPU and GPU efficiency, there might be far more strain on Qualcomm’s cache and reminiscence subsystem to maintain varied processing blocks powered.

By the best way, it isn’t simply CPU and GPU blocks which have seen a efficiency increase. Qualcomm’s Hexagon DSP/AI engine block additionally obtained a major efficiency increase, rivaling the 2x GPU increase. Qualcomm was gentle on the technical particulars right here, nevertheless no options like INT4 or micro-tiling have been talked about in our briefing – two essential options of the next-gen Hexagon block on the eighth Gen 2 – so it appears probably that it is a closely upgraded model of the Hexagon block used on the earlier 7 Gen 1.

One piece of Snapdragon 8 know-how that is making its means as much as the Snapdragon 7, nevertheless, is its 18-bit Spectra triple ISP. Changing the 14-bit unit present in earlier generations of the platform, the 18-bit unit on the 7+ Gen 2 will carry assist for triple publicity computational HDR video seize, in addition to improved low-light pictures, which Qualcomm calls Mega Low Light-weight characteristic. The top result’s that the 7+ Gen 2 can seize at increased resolutions when utilizing the zero shutter lag characteristic, and mixed with the up to date GPU, can now document 4K video at as much as 60fps, doubling the 7 Gen 1’s 4K30 restrict. .

Lastly, rounding out the bundle is a reprise of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X62 built-in modem. Like final 12 months’s SoC, it is a mmWave + Sub-6 Launch 16 design that may hit a theoretical most obtain velocity of 4.4Gbps. Nevertheless, this 12 months’s design contains a twist: twin energetic twin SIM (DSDA) assist, which is one other first for the Snapdragon 7 platform. Each energetic radios on the 7+ Gen 2 assist 5G and 4G communications, permitting twin SIM customers to make use of basically any community they need on each radios. That is one other premium characteristic, which was restricted to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 platform till now.

For non-cellular connectivity, the 7+ Gen 2 makes use of a FastConnect 6900 radio system. It is a comparatively modest improve over the earlier 6700 radio, bringing Bluetooth assist to protocol model 5.3 and growing the bandwidth of peak Wi-Fi 6E radio streaming 2×2 at 3.6 Gbps with dual-band concurrent assist (DBS) .

In conclusion, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 will arrive in the marketplace in a short time. In line with Qualcomm, telephones utilizing the SoC might be out there later this month, with Redmi and Realme among the many OEMs planning to launch telephones primarily based on the brand new chip.

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