Snapdragon 690 the SoC for increasingly affordable 5G smartphones

Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 brings 5G to more affordable price point
Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G chipset announced

The Qualcomm group has largely contributed to the emergence of the first wave of 5G smartphones in 2019 with a first high-end proposal combining Snapdragon 855 and 5G X50 modem.

For the second wave of 2020 that is to start the democratization of the 5G, the firm continued in the same direction with the Snapdragon 865 with modem 5G X55 but it also unveiled the Soc Snapdragon 765/ 765G (and, since, the Soc Snapdragon 768) with integrated 5G modem X52 for mid-range smartphones, beginning to expand access to 5G.

The next step was to bring the 5G on the Snapdragon 600 platforms to touch mid-range smartphones typically positioned around 300 to 400 dollars.

Snapdragon 690 5G 01

This role is given to the new Soc Snapdragon 690 which becomes the first Snapdragon 600 to have 5G compatibility. As its name indicates, it is a chip placed at the top of this series and thus benefits from it to acquire features never before offered in this segment.

The CPU part is based on 8 octocore cores in 2 + 6 configuration based on Kryo 560 cores. The powerful hearts rely on an ARM Cortex-A77 base with a cadence of 2 Ghz, the others are in ARM Cortex-A55.

Snapdragon 690 specs

It is accompanied by an Adreno 619L graphic part supporting the H.264/ H.265, VP8 and VP9 codecs, as well as the Vulkan 1.1 API. A Hexagon 692 DSP with HTA (Hexagon Tensor Accelerator) and the Qualcomm Sensing Hub are on board, while the IPS is a Spectra 355L module that can handle a 192 megapixel flow.

Many firsts for the Snapdragon 600 series

With this set, the Soc Snapdragon 690 is the first of the 600 series to provide 4K HDR10 video recording. It is also the first to host the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine environment, which was previously reserved for higher series.

The contribution of artificial intelligence will allow for example more fluid transitions to move from one photo sensor to another or to apply filters more convincingly on selfie videos.

The Soc Snapdragon 690 will also open the way for mid-range smartphones to a 120 Hz screen refresh in FHD+, or QHD at 60 Hz, with HDR10 support.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G chipset announced

For the 5G part, it is a 5G Snapdragon X51 modem that is integrated, slightly modified version of the X52 of the Snapdragon 765/ 768. It will achieve a down rate of 2.5 Gbps (and up to 1.2 Gbps in 4G LTE) and 660 Mbps (and 210 Mbps in 4G LTE), knowing that the Soc is also Wifi 6 Ready and supports Quick Charge 4+ technology for fast charging.

The first smartphones running the Soc Snapdragon 690 will be available in the second half of the year, with prices ranging from $300 to $400.

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