Qualcomm’s next generation mid-range chipsets, currently referred to as the Snapdragon 6150 and Snapdragon 7150 have now been spotted in GitHub repositories with every indication that the new SoCs will support much better hardware for both displays and cameras. No details are currently available with regard to the underlying performance of either chipset but both are built in an octa-core configuration and each show support for at least a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Each is also shown to support a dual 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel primary camera at the back. The displays being used in the tests do seem to show some differences and may provide some indication as to what the processing cores found in each unit might be capable of. The more budget-friendly 6150 SoC is tested using a fullHD+ 2160 x 1080 display set at 5.99 inches while the Snapdragon 7150 is tested at an 18:9 display ratio with a QHD+ panel. The resolution of the display used for the Snapdragon 7150 would be rated at a minimum of 2880 x 1440. So the new chips will most likely be quite a bit more powerful than prior mid-range or budget entries.
Background: Determining where, exactly, the new SoCs fall in Qualcomm’s lineup isn’t a straightforward matter since the company is currently in the process of rebranding its chips. For example, the follow-up to the company’s current top-tier flagship unit, the Snapdragon 845, is expected to launch as the Snapdragon 8150. That’s a relatively big break away from the OEM’s naming conventions. Meanwhile, near the end of October, the company launched what may be one of the last processors to feature the traditional three-number model designations with the Snapdragon 675. That chipset was manufactured on an 11nm process node and offers substantial improvements to performance, as a direct successor to the Snapdragon 650. Primarily, those improvements come down to AI processing improvements, enhanced camera features, fullHD+ displays, and other moderate advances.
While that SoC is already available to manufacturers and should begin shipping in handsets in early 2019, the subsequent chips under the new branding are expected to offer bigger improvements to better suit the rebranding. That doesn’t mean there won’t be similarities, however. The original report on this notes that several employees who can be tied back to work on the Snapdragon 6150 and 7150 have indicated that those will be built on the 11nm process node as well. It isn’t immediately clear whether they’ll follow the same asymmetrical core split used by the Snapdragon 675 but that isn’t out of the question either. That latter chipset features two performance-heavy Cortex-A76 cores backed by six efficiency-focused Cortex-A55 cores. If the same core configuration is utilized, it may be down to the clock speeds, RAM supported, and similar aspects to differentiate between Qualcomm’s offerings.
Impact: Qualcomm may choose to include four of the more powerful Cortex-A76 cores in the Snapdragon 7150 in place of two of the six Cortex-A55 cores. To the contrary, Qualcomm may simply choose to overclock or underclock the cores of each new SoC instead, or it might take a combined approach. As mentioned above, the core clocks of the newly spotted chipsets are presently unknown, as are the exact reasons for the rebranding itself. Bearing that in mind, the new brands are widely expected to usher in a wealth of changes to the tech giant’s offerings across the board. So it’s not likely that these will represent iterative improvements to the technology irrespective of where the focus is placed.