What just happened? Qualcomm's diverse portfolio of smartphone SoC platforms is growing larger with a new chip for mid-range handsets. The new platform will seemingly be good enough to turn affordable mobile devices into "premium" experiences and AI-capable machines.
Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is Qualcomm's latest SoC "Media Platform" for affordable, yet moderately powerful smartphones. The mobile chip joins the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 SoC launched earlier this year, but it is meant to be a proper successor to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 platform introduced in 2022.
Qualcomm stated that the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chip will amplify "immersive experiences" and bring "premium performance" to consumers' everyday lives. The upgraded platform is expected to deliver across-the-board technology advancements, so that mobile users can enjoy "on-device" AI capabilities, mobile gaming, 5G connectivity, captured photos and much more.
The latest tech product created by the US fabless chipmaker includes a single Cortex-A715 Arm CPU core clocked at 2.63 GHz, while three more "performance" cores can run at up to 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at up to 1.8 GHz. There's an Adreno 720 GPU too, and a Hexagon NPU for AI workload acceleration with seemingly no need for cloud offloading.
Qualcomm said that its AI NPU offers 60% better performance per watt compared to the previous generation, while CPU cores are 15% more powerful overall and the Adreno GPU is 50% better than the previous one. Qualcomm's FastConnect 6700 component will properly serve modern connectivity needs such as Wi-Fi 6E, 5G/4G and Bluetooth 5.3, and the Qualcomm Spectra camera should be good enough for video recording in 4K HDR with AI Denoiser and Remosaic algorithms.
Christopher Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets for Qualcomm Technologies, is reported to have said that the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 Mobile Platform has been "intelligently designed" to balance performance and power efficiency. The fabless chipmaker is working closely with OEM manufacturers, providing what are perceived (and described) as highly-requested features - on-chip AI, "extraordinary" camera capabilities - to a wider audience.
Qualcomm announced that the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 will first be adopted by Chinese phone makers Honor and Vivo, as well as other key OEM manufacturers in the mobile business. The first device based on the new SoC platform is expected to be announced by the end of the month.