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Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 and 765G: Bringing 5G to a much wider audience (Updated)

By Vijay Anand - 5 Dec 2019

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 and 765G: Bringing 5G to a much wider audience

Alex Katouzian, SVP & GM of Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies, unveiled the Snapdragon 765 and 765G mobile platforms.

The new high-performance mobile processor for most consumers

For consumers who don’t necessarily need the flagship mobile processor, the Qualcomm’s existing Snapdragon 730 with eight-core Kyro CPU is a very capable high-end mobile phone processor. It even has a gaming variant, Snapdragon 730G, which is bestowed with Elite Gaming features and experiences. For 2020 though, Qualcomm’s goal is clear and it’s to proliferate its 5G connectivity solutions to a wider audience.

To that extent, the new Snapdragon 765 and 765G will be the first Snapdragon Mobile platform to boast of an integrated 5G modem-RF subsystem. Coupled with a more advanced AI engine (Qualcomm’s 5th generation AI engine), these new mobile processors are designed to make 5G capable devices more accessible and bring brand new experiences like cloud game streaming, intelligent multi-camera captures and improved intelligent battery life consumption to a whole new audience and price point.

We’ll discuss more of its key features in the following segments after this video:-


Making integrated 5G a possibility

While the Snapdragon 730 series boasts of a competent Snapdragon X15 LTE modem that can deliver download speeds up to 800Mbps and one of the first to be Wi-Fi 6 ready, the Snapdragon 765 has to make an even bigger leap. This brings us to the Snapdragon 765’s standout feature – the Snapdragon X52 modem-RF system that’s built into the processor, thus making it the world’s first integrated 5G platform announced to-date.

Boasting a multi-Gigabit download throughput of up to 3.7Gbps, it’s close to the standalone Snapdragon X50 5G modem’s theoretical throughput of 4.5Gbps. 5G uplink speed is rated or up to 1.6Gbps. Like the X50, and X55, the integrated X52 achieves this using both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies. As a 5G multi-mode modem, it supports both non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) operating modes along with TDD and FDD Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) to enable a wider 5G coverage on DSS-supported networks to leverage on existing 4G spectrum and infrastructure. Completing its feature set are carrier aggregation, 5G roaming, and multi-SIM support – in short, very capable.

When not using 5G, downlink throughput capability is up to 1.2Gbps and uplink is rated for 210Mbps over LTE. Cellular connectivity aside, Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6200 subsystem is present to support up to 802.11ax standard for Wi-Fi, including 802.11ac Wave 2, MU-MIMO and DBS (dual-band simultaneous). This same subsystem is also responsible for Bluetooth and it supports version 5.0 and Bluetooth audio standards such as aptX Adaptive and Qualcomm TrueWireless technology.


5th Generation AI Engine

The other components that complete what the Snapdragon 765 mobile platform represents.

Here’s where things get interesting. While the Snapdragon 730 that it replaces has a Hexagon 686 DSP that’s classified with a 3rd generation Qualcomm AI engine, the new Snapdragon 765 boasts a Hexagon 696 that boasts a 5th generation Qualcomm AI engine!

If you peer into this year’s flagship Snapdragon 855, you’ll find that it boasts of a 4th generation AI engine with a new Tensor Accelerator within the Hexagon 690 DSP. This is already rated to be twice as fast at a 3rd generation AI engine. Meanwhile, Qualcomm says the 5th generation AI engine is twice as fast as the 4th generation version. That means in less than a year, the Snapdragon 765 has progressed to be four times speedier than the Snapdragon 735 that it replaces where AI processing is concerned.

On-device AI capability is an integral aspect of the 5G proposition as it helps bring the cloud ever closer to the device. Some of the edge experiences that are evolving as more on-demand, on-device compute power is present are low latency interactive content, boundless XR (extended reality that’s a mix of AR and VR), smart factories, industrial automation/control and smart retail. This is why it’s important to ramp up AI performance capabilities when gearing up for the era of wide 5G deployment in 2020 and the Snapdragon 765 is well placed for this.

Experiences and capabilities enabled by both AI and 5G.

Of course, while the Hexagon 696 DSP processor and its Tensor Accelerator cores are key in tackling AI operations, these days, AI processing on a mobile platform is task undertaken by a variety of processors that are best suited for a task at hand. In the case of the Snapdragon 765, the 5th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine consists of the following components in total-

  • Adreno 620 GPU
  • Qualcomm Kyro 475 CPU
  • Hexagon 696 Processor
  • Qualcomm Sensing Hub

The Qualcomm Sensing Hub is new to the 7-series mobile platform and it allows your device to be contextually aware of its surroundings and utilize its low power hub of audio, video and voice sensors to accomplish low power tasks with ease. Some of these tasks include intelligent battery management, multi-mic far-field audio detection, and invoke relevant voice assistants, and fusing contextual data streams from multiple sensors.

The full platform block of the Snapdragon 765 mobile processor.


Intelligent multi-camera capture

The existing Snapdragon 730 already features a Qualcomm Spectra 350 computer vision (CV) enhanced image signalling processor (ISP) for a more power-efficient operation while also having the ability to capture 4K HDR videos with bokeh and support for triple cameras that feature ultra-wide, portrait and telephoto lenses.

The new Snapdragon 765 now has an updated Spectra 355 ISP to better support the speedier 5th generation Qualcomm AI engine. As a result, it’s able to perform real-time object classification, segmentation and replacement, just like the Snapdragon 865. It may not be capable of capturing a 200MP image like the new flagship counterpart, but it’s certainly respectable with 192MP image capture capability. Slow-mo video capture is limited to 720p resolution at 480 FPS, but that should be reasonable enough for most users who only use it occasionally.

Even HDR capture capability and display has improved from the previous generation supporting HDR10 standard to the Snapdragon 765's HDR10+ standard.


Improved performance

The Snapdragon 765 is manufactured on a 7nm process technology, which is different from the predecessor using an 8nm process technology. So while there are performance benefits and power efficiencies to be gained from the process technology change, this time round they are small. At the heart of the platform processor is its octa-core Kyro 475 CPU that can clock up to 2.3GHz (a slight uplift over the Snapdragon 730’s Kyro 470 CPU’s 2.2GHz rating that’s likely due to the process technology change), and an Adreno 620 GPU that’s said to be 20% faster than previous generation’s Adreno 618.


The gaming edge with the Snapdragon 765G

As if the advances to the Snapdragon 765 aren’t good enough, the Snapdragon 765G is designed to deliver up to 20% performance boost over the standard Snapdragon 765 through a faster Kyro CPU (clocks up to 2.4GHz) that can deliver 5.5 TOPS (trillions of operations per second) of AI performance and 10% faster graphics rendering thanks to a higher clocked Adreno GPU. As can be expected of a “G” class mobile platform processor, it supports Snapdragon’s Elite Gaming branding and a subset of the new features found on the Snapdragon 865.

Already on the previous Snapdragon 730G, it supported the following Elite Gaming features: Optimization for top games, Game Jank Reducer v1.0, Game Fast Loader v1.0, True HDR10 mobile gaming. Building upon this list, the Snapdragon 765G now boasts these additional features:-

  • Qualcomm Game Smoother
  • Qualcomm Game Fast Loader
  • Qualcomm Game Network Latency Manager

Last but not least, while not very crucial at this juncture, the Snapdragon 765G supports up to QHD panels at 60Hz, while the non-G variant is limited to FHD+ resolutions at 120Hz.

Snapdragon 765's overall proposition.


Closing remarks

All said and done, Snapdragon 765’s integrated Snapdragon X52 5G Modem-RF System (a solution that combines Modem, RF Transceiver and RF Front-End components), is the perfect option to reduce integration complexity while still offering a fairly capable high-end processor that will be well appreciated by many consumers.

Read Next: Oppo Reno 3 Pro launching this month is powered by the Snapdragon 765G

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