If high-end chips are the most interesting from a technical point of view, since they are the first to introduce most of the new technologies, in fact it is rather this type of chip that will power your future smartphone: the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.
If the majority of the devices sold worldwide are shown for less than 150 euros, the heart of the market in Europe is between 200 and 450 euros. Precisely the goal of this new chip launched by Qualcomm.
Also read: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Anatomy of the future high-end smartphone chip (2021)
Still engraved by Samsung (at lower prices than TSMC), the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 inaugurates the new Arm v9 architecture found in its big brother.
An architectural change that is less aimed at pure performance gains – which are also due to the finesse of engravings, optimizations, the increase in certain frequencies, other components (GPU, etc.) – and more aimed at preparing for the future.
Note, however, that Qualcomm strangely never talks about pure CPU performance gains. Arm v9 offers development and certification potential (particularly in terms of security, protection against attacks, storage scaling, etc.) beyond the reach of the old Arm v8 architecture.
Also read: ARM Announces ARMv9, the Architecture at the Heart of Next Decade’s Processors (2021)
This allows the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 to be validated as the first SoC on the market Trust Management Engine and Android ReadySE (to the SecureElements). Two Android security building blocks aiming to strengthen the system with validated hardware building blocks (like this chip).
Disappearance of serial numbers (but it’s better, I promise, swear)
As Qualcomm experts told us last December 2021, the nomenclature of the new Adreno graphics chip, without code names, cores or frequencies, corresponds to a conscious strategy of the company, which has reviewed its GPU from the ground up.
But that prevents us journalists from explaining to you (and understanding ourselves!) what are the differences between the Adreno of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Adreno of this Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.
That can only be said in addition to its certification Snapdragon Elite Gaming and the support of HDR gamingthe chip is up to 20% more efficient than the previous one (the Adreno 642 of the Snapdragon 780G that this 7 Gen 1 replaces).
Is it satisfactory? Absolutely not.
And this vague nomenclature also applies to the image processor, the “Unnamed Spectra”, which replaces the Spectra 570. A building block of the chip that benefits from a small bonus on the maximum resolution side (we’re going from 192 Mpix to 200 Mpix supported) , as well as support for 4K HDR and “unlimited” 64 Mpix burst.
But the image definitions with Zero shutter lag (Zero Trigger Delay) remain as before (84 Mpix, 64 Mpix + 20 Mpix and 3 x 25 Mpix).
The same applies to the AI chip Hexagon, which is now called “Hexagon-without-serial number”. A piece of chip “up to 30% more efficient” (promise sworn! Signed: Qualcomm). What we do know, however, is that this chip packs the latest version of the technology that manages deep learning for facial recognition (which notably improves face tracking).
LPDDR5 and X62 modem
The move from LPDDR4X to LPDDR5 on this chip line allows the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 to take advantage of a 50 percent excess memory bandwidth. Which takes more photos in burst mode, for example.
On the connectivity side, the previous generation X53 modem (still on-chip) gives way to the X62. Which mainly improves bandwidth in 5G, with theoretical top speeds of 4.4 Gbps versus 3.3 Gbps.
See also video:
See also video:
Add to that classic Qualcomm building blocks like aptX lossless audio codec, hardware noise reduction for communications (via apps that support it), etc.
No brand has yet announced a terminal that integrates the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, but the major Chinese manufacturers should quickly come to an agreement on the subject. The first terminals could arrive very quickly, faster than the generation 8 Snapdragon.