After months of anticipation, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC has been officially announced. It can be integrated with the Snapdragon X55 modem for 5G connectivity, which supports sub-GHz and ultra high mmWave signals. Besides high-speed data connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 SoC has AI capability. Qualcomm also introduces Snapdragon 765/765G, which also has 5G data connectivity and AI processing, as well as Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming. There will be 5G and 4G (non-5G) devices that use both SoCs. Both Snapdragon 865 and 765/765G SoC can be offered to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to help lowering costs for 5G-capable products.
Qualcomm is the biggest chipmaker in the mobile industry and the Snapdragon 865 will power flagships devices like Samsung Galaxy S11 and Xiaomi Mi 10. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 765/765G is a capable SoC for mid-range devices in 2020. It is important to note that manufacturers need to buy X55 modem separately to add 5G capability for devices with Snapdragon 865. Snapdragon 765/765G has embedded X52 modem, but it’s slower than the X55. Even so, the closer integration between Snapdragon 765/765G and X52 modem will result in lower costs and better battery life. As 5G connectivity becomes widely available for mid-range device, 2020 will be the 5G starts to go mainstream. There’s a good possibility that 5G solutions will be widely available for low-end devices in 2021 or at least in early 2022.
It is quite obvious that Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765/765G will be noticeably faster than Snapdragon 855 Plus and Snapdragon 730/730G, but the biggest upgrade is the 5G integration. Even at low-level implementation, 5G is already 10 times faster than 4G, but theoretically, it could be 100 times with proper equipment and adequate infrastructure. So, if the data connection is fast and the device has powerful processor for near instant rendering, websites could be opened in just a fraction of a second. Downloads and uploads for large files could be completed in less than one minute.
Qualcomm will be one of major contributors in 5G implementation in 2020. Other mobile SoC series, like Exynos, MediaTek and Helio should have models with embedded 5G modem as well. In fact, it would be hard to find premium smartphone models in 2020 without 5G support. Today, more than 40 cellular network operators already release 5G data connectivity and more will join them.