Today, Qualcomm launched a set of new SoCs, namely the Snapdragon 616, 412, and 212. These are updates to the Snapdragon 615, 410, and 210 respectively.

If you were to guess that these are relatively minor updates, you’d be right. First off, the Snapdragon 616 leaves the 615 mostly unchanged, with the top clockspeed of the little cluster jumping from 1 GHz to 1.2 GHz. However it should be noted that there are iterations of the 615 with a 1.11 GHz little cluster clock as well.

Qualcomm's SoC Refresh Lineup
  Snapdragon 616 Snapdragon 412 Snapdragon 212
Manufacturing Process 28nm LP 28nm LP 28nm LP
CPU 4 x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz
4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
4 x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.4GHz 4 x ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.3GHz
ISA 32/64-bit ARMv8-A 32/64-bit ARMv8-A 32-bit ARMv7
GPU Adreno 405 Adreno 306 Adreno 304
H.265 Decode Yes (1080p) Yes (720p) Yes (1080p)
Memory Interface 32-bit LPDDR3-800 32-bit LPDDR2/3-600 32-bit LPDDR2/3-533
Integrated Modem 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA 9x25 core, LTE Category 4, DC-HSPA+, DS-DA
Integrated WiFi Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac 1-stream 802.11n 1-stream 802.11n 1-stream
eMMC Interface 4.51 4.51 4.5

Meanwhile the Snapdragon 410 to 412 upgrade is a bit bigger, with the single cluster of A53s going from 1.2 GHz to 1.4 GHz and the memory interface going from a max of 533 MHz to 600 MHz. The Snapdragon 210 to 212 upgrade on the other hand is similar to the 615 to 616 upgrade, with the single cluster of A7s going from 1.1 to 1.3 GHz and are otherwise unchanged.

Overall it’s a bit unfortunate that none of these SoCs have made the move from a traditional polySiON gate oxide to a high-k metal gate process yet. However I suspect that in these lower tiers even the cost of HKMG would dramatically affect competitiveness and price.

Finally, at this point it's unclear when these new variants will begin shipping, but it’s likely that this part is sampling now. Which means that devices with these new SoCs should be available before the end of the year.

Source: Qualcomm

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  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    They aren't using the CPUs to decode the heavy bits of that stuff anyway, and at this stage even the GPU shaders aren't sufficient for fast and power-efficient H.265 decoding - especially in an ultra-mobile power footprint. Rather, they use fixed-function blocks to do the heavy lifting. So IF the chart is accurate than the 412 doesn't have the same video decoder block as the 212 and 612. The 412 is still more capable in all other regards, which means for 99.9% of real-world usage.
  • igeekone - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    @hans_ober discovered it. The 412 is a 410 clocked at 1.4 Ghz. They 410 decodes 720p H.265.
  • igeekone - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Sorry, I may have jumped it. That doesn't explain the limitation.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    The faster memory alone makes it a substantial upgrade over the 410, perhaps more so than the raw clock increase. It's still a budget chip, obviously.
  • testbug00 - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    I am guessing it has to do with all of Qualcomm's 64bit CPUs right now are rushjobs to get stock ARM 64b chips out ASAP.
  • lordmocha - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    So what happens if you try play a 1440p or 2160p H.265 video of the 616 (or 1080p on the 412/212)? Will it decode entirely in software?
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    If my experience with other devices is anything to go by, when you try to play something that won't decode easily in hardware or software most video players will simply fail. 4K HEVC is definitely too much for the CPU to decode in real time, so it probably won't play.
  • hans_ober - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    I've said this on reddit but here goes:

    Does it mean the new MotoG is running the S412?
    S410 tops out at 1.2Ghz; new MotoG is 1.4Ghz.

    Anyway to check the memory clocks on the MotoG?
    Qualcomm is probably reclassifying all 1.4Ghz S410s to S412?
  • igeekone - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    I checked the specs on the 410, considering the 412 only does 720p H.265 decode like the 410. It seems like you're correct. The 412 is a rebranded 410 clocked at 1.4 Ghz.
  • watzupken - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    To be honest, they don't look very interesting. Mostly small upgrades, or clockspeed bumps.

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