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Snapdragon 690 brings 5G to the mid-range segment
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Snapdragon 690 brings 5G to the mid-range segment

by Vyncent ChanJune 17, 2020
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Qualcomm has just announced the Snapdragon 690, which builds upon the Snapdragon 675 with better performance, and the buzzword of the year, 5G. Qualcomm also updated the CPU cores, GPU, ISP and DSP components, making it a pretty significant upgrade over its predecessors.

The CPU core cluster arrangement is similar to the rest of Qualcomm’s mid-range chipsets, coming with a 2+6 configuration. The “big” cores have been updated to the Cortex-A77-based Kryo 560, running at 2.0 GHz. Interestingly, that’s a more advanced architecture than the Snapdragon 765’s Cortex-A76-based Kryo 475 performance cores. Meanwhile six Cortex-A55-based efficiency cores run at 1.7 GHz. Overall, Qualcomm claim a 20% performance improvement over the previous generation of Snapdragon 600-series chipsets.

The GPU also sees a rather huge jump, with an Adreno 619L under the hood for a pretty huge 60% leap in performance from the Adreno 612 in the Snapdragon 675. The Snapdragon 690 will need to be quite powerful to feed the 120 Hz displays it supports, although I kinda expect it to not be capable of 120 Hz in games.

Snapdragon 690 brings 5G to the mid-range segment 18

In addition to all that raw CPU and GPU grunt, the Snapdragon 690 is prepared for the upcoming slew of high resolution cameras with support for up to 192MP cameras, with the new Spectra 355L ISP. This is also the first 600-series chipset to sport a 5th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine and Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, which was usually reserved for Qualcomm’s more premium chips.

Last but not least, the 5G modem. Qualcomm used a Snapdragon X51 5G modem here. It enables up to 2.5 Gbps down and 660 Mbps up over 5G, which is a bit slower than what the Snapdragon X52 5G modem in the Snapdragon 765 series is capable of.

Snapdragon 690 Specs

  • 2 x 2.0 GHz Kryo 560 (Cortex-A77-based) + 6 x 1.7 GHz Kryo 560 (Cortex-A55-based)
  • Adreno 619L
  • Hexagon 692 DSP
  • Spectra 355L ISP (up to 192MP single camera, 32MP with ZSL and multi-frame noise reduction)
  • Qualcomm X51 5G modem (2.5 Gbps down, 1.2 Gbps up)
  • 8nm LPP (Samsung)

The Snapdragon 690 is slated to appear in devices in the second half of 2020. One of the first devices to debut with the chipset might be from Nokia, as they expressed that they are “excited” to reveal more about their product featuring on the Snapdragon 690.

Pokdepinion: I wonder if the Snapdragon 690 will end up like the Snapdragon 675… It’s a great chipset that offers more raw horsepower than the Snapdragon 710, but saw very poor adoption, probably because OEMs would rather boast of a 700-series in their marketing material over a 600-series chip.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.