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Qualcomm's New Chip for Entry-Level Phones Moves to 4nm

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Jun 26, 2023, 10:00 AM   by Rich Brome
updated Jun 26, 2023, 11:58 AM

Qualcomm has a new Snapdragon 4 chip for entry-level phones. Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 brings improved performance and efficiency, largely thanks to a newer 4nm manufacturing process. (The Gen 1 used an older 6nm process.) Qualcomm claims the Gen 2 has up to 10% better CPU performance. Despite the name, Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 isn't necessarily a direct replacement for the Gen 1. Qualcomm Director of Product Management Matthew Lopatka explained that the goal with this chip is to make a 5G Snapdragon chip that is more affordable. Still, the Gen 2 is a more modern chip and does have several upgrades over the Gen 1. For example, the memory and storage systems get a bump: Gen 2 supports faster LPDDR5x RAM (up to 3,200 MHz) and UFS 3.1 (2-lane) storage. Qualcomm has also added new noise-reduction features to the image processing systems, including Multi Camera Temporal Filtering (MCTF) for video. The 4 series also gains Qualcomm's impressive AI-enhanced background noise removal for clear sound in noisy environments. Finally, the Gen 2 upgrades to a newer X61 Modem-RF System that supports 3GPP release 16, for more robust 5G performance. Most other features of the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 carry over, such as Quick Charge 4+ fast charging and support for FHD+ displays with up to 120 Hz refresh. Where Qualcomm trimmed specs to reach a lower price point is the Spectra ISP (Image Signal Processor), which has been simplified from three cores to two, so it no longer supports processing from three cameras simultaneously, although few entry-level phones took advantage of that feature. The ISP still supports 12-bit processing and cameras up to 108 megapixels. Also, the Bluetooth is version 5.1 instead of 5.2. Commercial devices using the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 are expected to be announced in the second half of 2023.

source: Qualcomm



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