Qualcomm adds bite to Snapdragon platform

Just days after kicking off IFA show outlining plans to embed its Wi-Fi, 5G and satellite connectivity technology to drive connected experiences in a world that Qualcomm sees as one where everything is intelligent and everyone connected, chip giant launches new version of core mobile platform

Only days after CEO Cristiano Amon unveiled the firm’s forward plans to establish itself as the central part of always-on connected experiences in use cases encompassing business applications, internet of things (IoT), mobility, automotive and the metaverse, Qualcomm Technologies has announced major enhancements to the flagship Snapdragon 6 and Snapdragon 4 mobile platforms to enable advancements in capture, connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI)

Amon revealed the strategy at the IFA show in Berlin, noting that technologies such as 5G will drive the significant expansion of on-device intelligence, providing a contextual understanding, with the ability to make decisions in real time as users are connected to the cloud.

“On-device intelligence is going to be the real scale opportunity for artificial intelligence and will be everywhere… those foundations [are] really shaping how we think about Snapdragon, focusing on experiences… the reality is, we’re now designing those products, thinking about the experience, taking artificial intelligence to pretty much everything… from phones all the way to autonomous cars.”

The latest Snapdragon mobile platforms are designed to help Qualcomm customers deliver advanced solutions for consumers. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 Mobile Platform would provide “brilliance beyond expectation”, fuelling dynamic experiences for commercial mobile devices that are intended to offer “impressive” performance and multi-day battery life, “making users’ favourite moments possible”. It is also said to provide “illuminating capture, hard-hitting video play” and intuitive AI assistance, extending users’ reach with expansive connectivity and sustained, efficient power and performance.

It integrates a triple ISP allowing for illuminating capture from three cameras at once with gigapixel speeds. Plus, users can snap up to 108MP photos and capture video with computational HDR via support for staggered HDR image sensors – a first in the Snapdragon 6-series. Snapdragon 6 features the seventh generation of the Qualcomm AI Engine enabling up to three time improved AI performance compared with its predecessor for intelligent assistance, including AI-based activity tracking.

The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is also designed to generate dynamic experiences with sustained power and performance delivering HDR video at over 60+ fps while delivering real-time responses and high-quality visuals for entertainment. Powered by the Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System, this platform enables global connectivity by supporting 3GPP Release 16 5G and 2.9Gbps peak 5G download speeds, while Qualcomm FastConnect 6700 deliver 2x2 Wi-Fi 6E – another first in the Snapdragon 6-series.

The company’s first 6nm 4-series platform, Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, is also attributed with impressive performance and AI to make interactions “seamless and intuitive”. It also has advanced photography features to enable striking capture, as well as improved connectivity so that users can share endlessly.​ The platform features up to 15% improved CPU and up to 10% enhanced GPU compared with the previous generation, allowing users to multitask smoothly and enjoy immersive entertainment.

Using premium camera technology, Snapdragon 4 includes a triple ISP and multi-frame noise reduction for crisp, detailed photos. Users can also capture photos up to 108MP – the best in the Snapdragon 4-series. The Qualcomm AI Engine is also said to make on-device experiences more seamless and intuitive. Users can get support from always-on voice assistants or communicate clearly thanks to echo and background noise suppression. Snapdragon 4 use the Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System to deliver 2.5Gbps peak 5G download speeds, and FastConnect 6200 for premium 2x2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.​

Commercial devices based on Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2023 and the third quarter of 2022 respectively. iQOO and Motorola will be among the first customers to take the platform.

“Based on our long-lasting collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, we can’t wait to introduce our upcoming new iQOO smartphone adopting the new Snapdragon mobile platform,” remarked iQOO India chief executive officer Nipun Marya. “The iQOO Z6 Lite will be one of the firsts smartphones globally to be powered by the new Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 Mobile Platform. We look forward to bringing consumers powerful performance and enabling advanced mobile experiences globally.”

Motorola’s head of strategy and chief of marketing office, Francois La Flamme, said: “At Motorola, we strive to deliver smarter technology to our consumers, and we are proud to have Qualcomm Technologies alongside us in this journey. As a company, we will continue to find the perfect balance between performance and affordability by utilising the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 Mobile platform in the future.”

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