Qualcomm Snapdragon 690: Here’s the affordable midrange 5G chipset

Snapdragon 690 will be a lower midrange chipset by Qualcomm for the larger number of audience. Qualcomm consistently focuses on their mid-range and lower mid-range customers with surprisingly capable chipsets since the last couple of years. With the release of Snapdragon 765 and 765G, the midrange SoCs were capable of 5G connectivity. With other chipsets like Snapdragon 675, Snapdragon 730G and Snapdragon 720G producing powerful processors, they lacked 5G connectivity and Snapdragon 690 is here to make that change. Now, Qualcomm has finally plugged that gap by announcing the Snapdragon 690, the first 5G-enabled mobile platform in the Snapdragon 6-series.

Snapdragon 690
Source: Qualcomm

The Snapdragon 690 (SM6350) is intended to be the successor of the Snapdragon 675, and it theoretically is below the Snapdragon 720G and the Snapdragon 730G. In practice, however, it features newer CPU and GPU designs than even the two 4G Snapdragon 7-series. This makes it Qualcomm’s this chipset the most powerful SoC yet in the lower mid-range segment. This seems to be the chip that finally brings 5G to the masses of smartphone consumers.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 Features

The Snapdragon 690 is an octa-core CPU, featuring a 2+6 CPU core configuration. The two big cores are the Kryo 560 cores, clocked at up to 2.0GHz, while the remaining six little cores are ARM Cortex-A55 cores.. The Kryo 560 cores are stock ARM Cortex-A77 cores (Qualcomm is still using the “Built for Cortex” license, but unlike the Cortex-A76, it is not requesting ARM to make any changes to the Cortex-A77 cores). Unlike MediaTek Dimensity 800 and 820, that uses four major cores albeit of the older Cortex-A76 architecture, Snapdragon still makes two big cores.

The Snapdragon 690 is manufactured on Samsung’s 8nm LPP process. Density-wise, this means it faces a disadvantage compared to the Dimensity 800 and Dimensity 820 SoCs, which are both manufactured on TSMC’s superior 7nm FinFET process. 

Source: Qualcomm

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 features the Adreno 619L GPU, which Qualcomm says makes it 60% faster than the GPU in its predecessor, the Snapdragon 675. 

The Snapdragon 690 features Qualcomm’s 5th Generation AI Engine. This consists of the CPU, the GPU, the Hexagon 692 DSP, and the Qualcomm Sensing Hub. For the first time in the Snapdragon 6-series, Qualcomm has brought its Hexagon Tensor Accelerator (HTA). 

5G Connectivity

The Snapdragon 690 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X51 5G modem-RF system, which is integrated with it (instead of being a discrete system such as the Snapdragon X55). The Snapdragon X51 modem-RF system is naturally a multimode system, which means it supports legacy connectivity standards as well. Qualcomm’s proprietary technologies such as Qualcomm 5G PowerSave, Wideband Envelope Tracking, and more, are also featured in the modem-RF system.

Source: Qualcomm

Who will use Snapdragon 690 chipset

The mainstream mobile manufacturers have not made any confirmation other than the speculated HMD Global, Motorola, Sharp, Wingtech, TCL, LG etc. But probably the first to release these chipsets would be the Chinese giants Xiaomi and Realme who are popular for making the most value for money smartphones. None of these news are yet confirmed but it is very likely for them to do so. And we will be waiting for the any further updates about this.

Features

  • First 5G connectivity in 6-series
  • Support for TDD, FDD and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing for global 5G coverage 
  • First 5th gen Qualcomm AI Engine and Hexagon Tensor Accelerator in a 6-series
  • More than 70% improvement in AI performance compared to its predecessor
  • Qualcomm® Sensing Hub for always-on environment awareness and AI virtual assistance
  • Support for 4K HDR video recording a first in the 6-series
  • Up to 192MP capture for larger than life photos
  • Qualcomm Spectra 355L ISP for crisp capture and noise reduction
  • Improved Adreno 619L offers up to 60% faster graphics rendering compared to the Snapdragon 675 Mobile Platform
  • Improved Kryo 560 offers up to 20% performance improvement compared to Snapdragon 675
  • Supports 120 Hz on-device display – a first in the 6-series
  • Qualcomm® 5G PowerSave provides major power efficiency improvements for big battery benefits 
  • Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6200 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem provides highly integrated 2×2 mobile connectivity (Dual Wi-Fi antennas) that is Wi-Fi 6 ready
  • Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive Audio keeps audio in sync with media 
  • aptX Adaptive Audio for robust, low-latency, high-quality wireless audio  
  • Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio codec (up to Qualcomm® WCD9385) smart speaker amplifier (up to Qualcomm® WSA8815)
5G5G Chipset:  Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X51 5G Modem-RF System
5G Spectrum: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), sub-6 GHz
5G sub-6 GHz specs: 100 MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
5G Peak Download Speed: 1.2 Gbps (LTE), 2.5 Gbps (5G)
Multi-SIM features: Global 5G multi-SIM
Qualcomm® Artificial Intelligence (AI) EngineAIE CPU:  Qualcomm® Kryo™ 560 CPU 
AIE GPU: Qualcomm® Adreno™ 619L GPU
AIE DSP: 2x Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Vector eXtensions (HVX), Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Tensor Accelerator, Qualcomm® Sensing Hub, Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Scalar Accelerator, Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 692 Processor
CPUCPU Clock Speed: Up to 2.0 GHz
CPU Cores:  Qualcomm® Kryo™ 560 CPU
CPU Architecture: 64-bit
ProcessProcess Technology: 8 nm
Qualcomm® FastConnect™ SubsystemWi-Fi/Bluetooth Subsystem: Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6200 Subsystem
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6 features: 8×8 sounding, WPA3 security support, Target Wake Time
Cellular ModemModem Name: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X51 5G Modem-RF System
Cellular TechnologyCellular Technology: HSPA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE
LTE Technology: LTE including CBRS support
5G Technology: 5G NR
Wi-FiWi-Fi Standards: 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.11ax-ready, 802.11ac Wave 2
Wi-Fi Spectral Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Qualcomm® Wi-Fi 6-ready technology features: Target Wakeup Time, 8×8 sounding, WPA3 security support
MIMO Configuration: 2×2 (2-stream)
Wi-Fi Features: 8×8 Sounding
BluetoothBluetooth Audio:  Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive Audio, Qualcomm TrueWireless™ Stereo
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.1
NFCNear Field Communications: Supported
LocationSatellite Systems Support: Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS, Dual frequency GNSS, NavIC, GPS, GNSS, QZSS, SBAS
USBUSB Version: USB 3.1, USB-C
CameraImage Signal Processor:  Qualcomm Spectra™ 355L image signal processor, 14-bit, 2x Image Signal Processor (ISP)
Dual Camera, MFNR, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 16 MP
Single Camera, MFNR, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 32 MP
Single Camera: Up to 192 MP
Slow Motion Video Capture: 720p @ 240 FPS
Video Capture Formats: HDR10, HLG, HEVC
Video Capture Features: Rec. 2020 color gamut video capture, Up to 10-bit color depth video capture
VideoMax On-Device Display: FHD+ @ 120 Hz
Max External Display: QHD @ 60Hz
HDR: HDR10
Color Depth: Up to 10-bit
Color Gamut: Rec2020
General AudioAudio Technology: Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Voice Assistant Accelerator, Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio codec up to Qualcomm® WCD9385, Qualcomm Aqstic™ smart speaker amplifier up to Qualcomm® WSA8815, Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio technology
GPUGPU Name:  Qualcomm® Adreno™ 619L GPU
API Support: OpenCL™ 2.0 FP, Vulkan® 1.1, OpenGL® ES 3.2, DX12
ChargingQualcomm® Quick Charge™ Technology Support: Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+ technology
Security SupportSecurity Features: Camera Security, Crypto Engine, Key Provisioning Security, Malware Protection, Qualcomm® Content Protection, Qualcomm® Mobile Security, Qualcomm® Processor Security, Qualcomm® Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), Secure Boot, Secure Token
MemoryMemory speed: 2133MHz
Memory Type: 2x16bit
Source: Qualcomm

Amal Varghese

A lecturer by profession and an admirer of transitions. I love the way the technological world revolves around me from the introduction of an earpiece to the computing device in a space shuttle, every tiny detail amuses me. I try to put my fascination to words for all the fanatics of this evolution who are ironically hooked to its benefits anyway. Proud to be a part of this generation who saw a tape-recording cassette with 5 songs and a cloud streaming service with a zillion songs inside your pocket.

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