Mobility

Why Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 could bring AI power to even more smartphones

The platform series aims to bring high-end tech to affordable devices.

Qualcomm has unveiled the first of their new 700 line of Snapdragon processors, bringing artificial intelligence (AI) technology and other high-end features to a wider variety of phones, according to a press release. The Snapdragon 710 is a combination of the company's flagship chipsets.

Features from Qualcomm's high-powered Snapdragon 845 will be incorporated with lesser versions of other platforms to make an affordable processor. The 710 has double the AI capabilities of the Snapdragon 660 and will hit the market at some point this quarter, the release noted.

"By incorporating key AI capabilities and performance advancements, the Snapdragon 710 is designed to transform our customers products into the ultimate personal assistant, enhancing critical everyday consumer experiences, such as high-end camera features that will benefit from on-device high-speed AI processing, without sacrificing battery life," Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management at Qualcomm, said in the release.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

According to Qualcomm, the platforms are built on 10 mm process technology and come with a "multi-core AI Engine and neural network processing capabilities." This upgraded AI engine will make smartphones more seamless and easier to use for business professionals in addition to other top-of-the-line features.

The 710 boasts 4K HDR playback, an X15 LTE modem, and a Spectra 250 image processor—all while conserving more energy than most phones thanks to AI.

"Snapdragon 710-based devices can expect to see up to 40% reduction in power consumption for both gaming and 4K HDR video playback, as well as a 20% reduction in power consumption when streaming video, when compared to Snapdragon 660," Qualcomm wrote in the release. "Additionally, the new Kryo 360 architecture, built on ARM Cortex technology, is optimized to support up to a 20 percent overall uplift in performance, 25 percent faster web browsing and 15 percent faster app launch times, compared to the Snapdragon 660."

On top of improved AI, the Snapdragon 710 has a Hexagon 685 DSP, Aqstic Audio, Spectra 250 dual ISP, Adreno 616 graphics, and custom Kryo 360 CPU cores, the release noted.

Looking at the 710 in the context of their other offerings, analysts wonder whether this effort by Qualcomm is aimed at Asian and European markets more than the US.

"But it's possible that the Snapdragon 710 is more of an international play for Qualcomm, designed for markets where midrange Android phones from companies like Xiaomi and Vivo lead the pack, as opposed to the US where expensive flagship phones are pretty much the only game in town," the Verge wrote in their analysis of the move. "From that perspective, offering more powerful upgrades to midrange Android phones at a cheaper price point could see success in a way that phones like the Galaxy S9 or Pixel 2 haven't."

Regardless of where it sees success, the Snapdragon 710's boosted AI capabilities and low-cost means that independent professionals will have easier access to these high-end features, possibly even in low-end phones. For professionals who mainly use an iPhone or flagship Android device, this chip platform could make cheaper Android devices more appealing as a backup device for traveling.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Qualcomm's new 700 line of processors use AI to improve their speed and performance, and will bring AI capabilities to a larger group of devices.
  • The Snapdragon 710 processor is available now and should start showing up in smartphones by the end of this quarter.

Also see

smartphone.jpg
Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox