Qualcomm announces 64-bit chipsets: Quad-core Snapdragon 610 and octa-core 615 coming to mid-range devices

It was not long ago that Qualcomm was mocking MediaTek for bringing out an octa-core processor-based SoC. And now the world's leading mobile chip maker has announced its own octa-core system-on-chip - the Snapdragon 615 - at this year's Mobile World Congress.


Qualcomm has announced two 64-bit mobile SoC's namely the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 610 and the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615. The Snapdragon 610 will house four Cortex A53 CPU cores whereas the Snapdragon 615 will have two blocks for four Cortex A53 CPU cores. Both these SoCs are based on the 28nm manufacturing process. Clock speeds were not disclosed.


For the Snapdragon 615, Qualcomm claims that one set of quad-core block will be optimised for low power tasks whereas the other set with look after high performance tasks. However, theoretically, all eight cores can be active at the same time if tasks so demand.


Cortex A53 supports the ARMv8 instruction set. Considering it is designed to be used in mid-range devices and the fact that the 610/615 will not sport the custom Qualcomm ARM architecture that is seen in the Krait line of CPUs, the Snapdragon 610/615 might be slower than the Snapdragon 600.


The Snapdragon 610/615 will come with Qualcomm Adreno 405 GPU which supports OpenGL ES 3.0, hardware tessellation, DirectX 11.2, new H.265 video decoding and display support for upto 2560x1600 pixel resolution. This will hopefully translate to a much richer experience with gaming on mid-range devices.


The Snapdragon 610 and 615 will support LTE speeds upto 150Mbps, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1. They are compatible with Qualcomm's 'RF360 Front End Solution', enabling OEMs to ship a single 5-mode global LTE SKU across all major bands and modes worldwide. This allows phone makers to support multiple LTE bands on the same device rather than having to customise the devices for different markets.


Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 610, 615 and 410 will be pin-compatible and devices designed for one devices can be upgraded or downgraded according to price points. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are expected to start shipping to OEMs by the third quarter of this year, and we should expect devices sporting these 64-bit chips, in the market around the last quarter.

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