On Thursday, Qualcomm announced its latest midrange mobile processor: the Snapdragon 780G, a 5nm component that succeeds last year’s 765. The Snapdragon 700 series is a mid-range line that offers similar features to the flagship Snapdragon 800 series, but with slightly lower performance for a significantly lower cost.
At first glance, it’s easy to look at last year’s Snapdragon 768G and this year’s 780G and see a similar product: an octa-core processor with Adreno GPU. But while the number of cores remained constant, the types of cores did not.
Previous Snapdragon 700 series SoCs used one “fastest” Cortex A-76 core, another “almost as fast” Cortex A-76, and six “slow-and-low” Cortex A-55 cores that run background tasks at a minimum. able to perform battery consumption. The new 780G is shifting things, with three fast secondary cores and only four slow cores:
|SoC||Fastest core||Fast core(s)||Slow/efficient cores|
|Snapdragon 768G||1x Cortex A-76 @ 2.8GHz||1x Cortex A-76 @ 2.4GHz||6x Cortex A-55 @ 1.8GHz|
|Snapdragon 780G||1x Cortex A-78 @ 2.4GHz||3x Cortex A-78 @ 2.2GHz||4x Cortex A-55 @ 1.9GHz|
This seems like a pretty big shift to us, and it shows how much wiggle room there is in a word like “octa-core” in modern large/small CPUs, where the different cores have very different capabilities and performance levels.
The 780G also gets an improved GPU — Qualcomm says the Adreno 642 gets a 50 percent performance boost over the Adreno 620 in the 768G. Anandtech’s back-of-the-napkin math roughly puts that on par with the Adreno 640 in the late 2018 flagship Snapdragon 855.
Snapdragon 780G offers a new and improved Hexagon 770 AI processor, with an additional lower-power AI accelerator that can handle tasks like filtering wind and background noise during calls without eating up too much battery reserves. There is also support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6E modems and an image signal processor that can process three 25MP images simultaneously. That makes it possible for a phone with a triple lens setup to capture images from wide, ultra-wide and telephoto cameras with one click.
Qualcomm says the first Snapdragon 780G-equipped devices should ship in the second quarter of 2021.