Qualcomm’s first 64-bit chip is the mid-range Snapdragon 410

Qualcomm logoQualcomm continues to reveal, bit by bit, its processor roadmap for the upcoming year. At the top of the range we've got the Snapdragon 805, which focuses mostly on improving graphics performance and memory bandwidth. And now we know that the middle of the market will be served by the just-announced Snapdragon 410, a successor to the Snapdragon 400 family that brings a new 64-bit CPU architecture, tweaked GPU, and improved cellular capabilities to "sub-$150" devices.

Rather than one of Qualcomm's own custom-made ARM CPU architectures, the company tells us that Snapdragon 410 will use four of ARM's Cortex A53 CPU cores (some variants of the Snapdragon 400, including the one in the Moto G, already use ARM's Cortex A7, so this move isn't without precedent). The A53 architecture supports the same features as the high-end Cortex A57, but it's a smaller, slower, and more power-efficient core—the relationship between Cortex A53 and A57 is similar to the relationship between the Cortex A7 and A15 cores. The A53 architecture will be faster than the A7 that it replaces, but more interestingly it offers support for the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set. This makes it Qualcomm's first 64-bit ARM SoC.

Qualcomm’s first 64-bit chip is the mid-range Snapdragon 410

The Snapdragon 410 will also include a few other upgrades over the Snapdragon 400 series, including a new Adreno 306 GPU (if the model number is any indication, expect only minor changes from the current Adreno 305). The SoC will support up 13MP cameras and 1080p video playback, leaving playback of 4K and other high-resolution formats in the hands of higher-end chips. Finally, the chip will support LTE connectivity courtesy of a baked-in MSM9x25 modem and Qualcomm's "RF360 Front End Solution," which should enable OEMs to build a single phone model compatible with most common LTE bands rather than the multi-model approach needed with the Snapdragon 400 and older chips.

The Snapdragon 410 will be built on the same TSMC 28nm LP process as current Snapdragon 400 SoCs. Qualcomm will begin sampling the chip to its partners in the first half of 2014, and retail availability should come in the second half of the year.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: ARM, CPUs, Qualcomm

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