Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 636 makes Kryo more affordable

Recently, Qualcomm has unveiled its latest mid-range mobile platform – the Snapdragon 636. The main billing with this product is the introduction of Qualcomm’s Kirin 260 CPU cores into the Snapdragon 63X range, bringing additional CPU power to a lower cost chipset.

The company states that the Kryo 260 CPU setup inside the Snapdragon 636 will deliver a 40 percent performance improvement over the Snapdragon 630’s 2.2 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU arrangement. Previously, if you wanted Kryo 260 CPU performance, OEMs had to stump up for the more expensive Snapdragon 660 platform. This change means that the 636 will also give users a little more CPU grunt than the 653 too, all at a lower price point. This shouldn’t be confused with the higher-end Kryo 280 though, which remains reserved for the top of the line Snapdragon 835.

 Snapdragon 660 Snapdragon 636 Snapdragon 630
CPU4x Kryo 260 @ 2.2 GHz
4x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz
4x Kryo 260 @ 2.2 GHz
4x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 2.2 GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz
GPUAdreno 512 (Vulkan API)Adreno 509 Adreno 508 (Vulkan API)
Co-processorsHexagon 642 + HVX, All-Ways Aware, Spectra 160 Hexagon, All-Ways Aware, Spectra 160 Hexagon, All-Ways Aware, Spectra 160
LTEX12 LTE
600 Mbps down,
150 Mbps up,
3x20MHz CA, up to 256-QAM
X12 LTE
600 Mbps down,
150 Mbps up,
3x20MHz CA, up to 256-QAM
X12 LTE
600 Mbps down,
150 Mbps up,
3x20MHz CA, up to 256-QAM
Process14 nm 14 nm 14 nm

In addition to the CPU changes, Qualcomm has also bumped up the GPU performance a tad with the introduction of an Adreno 509, up from the 508. This GPU provides about a 10 percent performance boost, however the Snapdragon 660 retains a performance advantage that gamers may be after.

As for the extras, you’ll find a Snapdragon X12 LTE modem for 600 Mbps down and 150 Mbps upload speeds. There’s the same 14-bit Spectra 160 ISP with support for up to 24 megapixel cameras, smooth zoom, and fast auto-focusing. The platform also comes with Qualcomm’s Aqustic audio codec, which supports 24-bit, 192 kHz audio playback.

The Snapdragon 636 is pin compatible with the 660 and 630, meaning quick incoporation for OEMs looking to make use of Qualcomm’s latest mid-range mobile platform when it becomes available in November 2017.

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