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Snapdragon 765 Enables 5G Roaming

December 31, 2019

Author: Mike Demler

Several companies have an­nounced smartphone pro­cessors with integrated 5G modems, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 is the first to support the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are deploying in the U.S., as well as the sub-6GHz bands that operators elsewhere in the world are deploying. Current 5G phones that sell in the U.S. must connect the processor to a discrete modem, increasing cost and power. By integrating the modem into the SoC, the Snapdragon 765 can offer 5G capabilities to the mid-premium segment at prices ranging from about $300 to $500. The chip is in production now, and the first phones should arrive in 1Q20.

The Snapdragon 765 follows the 4G Snapdragon 730 that Qualcomm announced in 2Q19. As with that mid-premium chip, the company plans to sell a speed-binned 765G model with faster CPU and GPU cores to target mobile gamers. The 2+6 CPU arrangement is the same as in the previous generation, but manufacturing the new chip in a 7nm EUV process at Samsung enables a small clock-speed increase for the performance-optimized Cortex-A76s. The new Adreno 620 GPU offers a greater improvement. Qualcomm measures an average 20% performance gain for a variety of graphics applications.

Other than the 5G modem, the AI engine delivers the biggest performance boost. Neural-network performance increases by virtue of the new Hexagon 696 DSP with built-in tensor cores. Combining the CPUs, GPU, and DSP, the company specifies the 765 to deliver a total of 5.5 trillion operations per second (TOPS), almost twice as many as its predecessor.

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