It was only a couple of years ago that Qualcomm revamped their naming scheme for their mobile processors when they launched the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Then in May of last year, they introduced the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, a system-on-chip meant for upper midrange smartphones that only really ended up on a few devices, with many manufacturers seemingly content with the popular Snapdragon 778G and its derivatives from yesteryear.
This time around, Qualcomm has announced the sequel to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. In case you’re wondering, no, you did not miss the launch of a Snapdragon 7+ Gen 1 nor was there a Snapdragon 7 Gen 2. Instead, Qualcomm is skipping straight to a Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2; this is apparently because the ‘+’ symbol no longer means just a minor overclock or performance bump over a base chipset, but instead means that it sits at the very top of the Snapdragon 7 series. Incidentally, Qualcomm also did not confirm or deny if there will be a standard Snapdragon 7 Gen 2 or not.
In any case, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 does seem to pack a substantial bump in performance compared to its predecessor. The chip, built on TSMC’s 4nm process, features a Kryo CPU with a Cortex X2 prime core running at 2.91GHz, three Cortex-A710 running at 2.49GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores running at 1.8GHz.
According to Qualcomm, this gives the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 a 50% bump in performance compared to last year’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, and it’s not hard to see why that would be the case. It’s the first Snapdragon 7 series processor to feature a Cortex-X CPU core, something previously reserved for the Snapdragon 8 series only. In fact, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 seems more like a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 ‘Lite’, sharing the same Kryo CPU core layout albeit at lower clock speeds. Qualcomm is also claiming an up to 25% performance bump over their competitors.
With it being a TSMC chip, it should also have the same performance-to-watt gains seen on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 instead of the Samsung-fabbed Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 too, with Qualcomm claiming a 13% improvement in power efficiency compared to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.
On top of that, the new Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 will apparently provide twice the performance of its predecessor, with Snapdragon Elite Gaming features such as Auto Variable Rate Shading. There’s Volumetric Rendering too for better realism in game scenes with particle graphics such as smoke and fog. Not forgetting audio, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 comes with Snapdragon Sound features such as Qualcomm aptX for lossless music streaming and lag-free audio in games too.
In the AI side of things, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2’s Qualcomm AI engine is able to provide 2x improved AI performance and 40% better performance per watt compared to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. Its Hexagon NPU and Qualcomm Sensing Hub gives the processor the ability to power contextually aware use cases like acoustic scene detection and user activity recognition, while AI Super Resolution is also present for intelligent upscaling in games and photos.
The Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 features an 18-bit triple image signalling processor setup previously seen only on Snapdragon 8 series chips that will let you capture shots in ‘mega low light mode’, with the ability to take up to 30 images and merging them into a single clear and bright photo.
Qualcomm claims that this processor can capture over 4,000x more camera data than before too for better dynamic range and clarity, with support for up to 200MP photo capture and staggered 4K HDR video capture with triple exposure from two sensors simultaneously.
What won’t be heading to the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 though is LPDDR5X memory support. Instead, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 supports memory speeds of up to LPDDR5-6400 only with a 32-bit LPDDR5 memory controller.
Connectivity on the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 meanwhile gets taken care of by a Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF system, offering download speeds of up to 4.4Gbps. The Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 also sees support for 5G/4G dual SIM dual active technology, a first for the Snapdragon 7 series. There’s also a Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 Mobile Connectivity System for WiFi 6E support with speeds up to 3.6Gbps.
“Snapdragon is synonymous with premium mobile experiences. Today’s launch of the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 illustrates our ability to bring some of the most in-demand flagship features to our Snapdragon-7 series—making them accessible to more people.
We are committed to delivering the most innovative solutions to meet the needs of consumers, our customers, and the industry at large,” – Christopher Patrick, Qualcomm Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Handsets
Qualcomm says that you can expect to see smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 as early as this month, with early adopters including brands such as Redmi and Realme. For more about the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2, you can visit its product page here.
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