Breaking the convention, Qualcomm released the second top processor Snapdragon 870
C114 News January 20 news (Lesi) After 47 days, Qualcomm has launched a Snapdragon 8 series 5G mobile platform named Snapdragon 870, breaking the convention of releasing only one top processor every year. It is reported that the Snapdragon 870 is an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 865 Plus, and its performance is second only to the just-released Snapdragon 888.
The reason why Qualcomm is so “impatient” is that it believes that 2021 will usher in a big explosion of 5G terminals. Qualcomm predicts that 5G mobile phone sales will reach 450 million to 550 million in 2021, and 750 million in 2022. Taking the first step in the market will help Qualcomm ensure its leadership in the 5G era.
Looking back at the changes in China’s smartphone processor market, the market pattern has changed from the 4G era of Qualcomm’s dominance, and by 2020, it will gradually develop into a three-pronged pattern of HiSilicon, Qualcomm, and MediaTek. In the high-end chip market, Qualcomm has already made a comprehensive layout and cannot allow others to take a share. In the most critical mid-to-low-end market, Qualcomm is also continuing to expand its influence. In 2020, it has launched a variety of cross-level Snapdragon 5G product portfolios, covering Snapdragon 7 series, 6 series and even 4 series platforms. To a certain extent, it has improved Qualcomm’s competitiveness in the low-end market.
Next-generation 5G mobile platform Snapdragon 870: based on 7nm process
As Qualcomm’s top processor series, the 8-series products will receive widespread attention from the market before they are launched. But without any notice this time, Qualcomm’s announcement of such a heavyweight new product was a little rushed.
Qualcomm calls the Snapdragon 870 an upgraded version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It is equipped with TSMC’s 7nm process, including one A77 (3.19GHz) super core + three A77 (2.42GHz) large cores and four A55 (1.8GHz) cores, GPU is Adreno 650, equipped with X55 5G baseband , WIFI module supports FastConnect 6800. And adopts the enhanced Qualcomm Kryo 585 CPU, the core frequency is up to 3.2GHz.
The Snapdragon 870 is favored by terminal manufacturers. Motorola, Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus, iQOO and other terminal manufacturers plan to carry this chip and launch a variety of flagship 5G terminals.
“The new Snapdragon 870 builds on the success of the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865 Plus and will further meet the needs of OEMs and the mobile industry,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies.
The Snapdragon 865/Snapdragon 865 Plus released in 2019 and 2020 can be said to be Qualcomm’s star products. It has achieved great success in the high-end 5G mobile phone market in 2020, and once became the only choice in the open market. It was adopted by more than 70 5G mobile phones after a month.
The author has observed that in recent months, Qualcomm has released products at a much higher frequency than in the past. In just over two months, three 5G mobile platforms have been released. 47 days ago, at the Snapdragon Technology Summit, the Snapdragon 888 was launched with a high profile, which was hailed as the top flagship product by the market. On January 4, Qualcomm released the new Snapdragon 4 series 5G platform, the Snapdragon 480, targeting the low-end market.
Qualcomm’s pretense is the same as the previous market forecast, as powerful as Qualcomm. In the face of fierce market competition, it must do everything possible to start a “self-defense” counterattack.
5G chip market competition is fierce, Qualcomm launched the “Chip Sea” war
Different from the 3G and 4G eras, the chip market in the 5G era is no longer just one family or two. There are independent chip manufacturers Qualcomm, MediaTek, Zhanrui, and the three most powerful mobile phone manufacturers – Apple, Huawei, and Samsung’s chip organizations.
In recent years, in the field of chips, Qualcomm has become more and more difficult. The latest report released by market research company Counterpoint shows that in the third quarter of 2020, MediaTek re-emerged after making efforts in the mid-end market, surpassing Qualcomm for the first time to become the largest smartphone chip supplier in the third quarter, with a market share of 31%. Qualcomm came in second with a 29 percent share.
Although the report shows that in the pure 5G chip market, Qualcomm still leads with a 39% share, this does not mean that Qualcomm can sit back and relax.
The latest data from CINNO Research pointed out that in the most critical Chinese market, MediaTek’s Dimensity 800 market share will become the mid-range 5G solution second only to Snapdragon 765G in 2020. The report also stated that among the 5G terminals sold by the four major brands of “HOVM” in the Chinese market in 2020, the proportion of MediaTek’s 5G solution will be as high as 22.6%. The four major brands with strong integration capabilities have increased the purchase volume of the MediaTek platform to varying degrees in 2020. Especially in the second half of the year, MediaTek’s market share showed explosive growth, rising to 31.7%, becoming the largest smartphone processor manufacturer in China’s domestic market for the first time.
According to market practice, the mid-to-low-end market is the key “winner” for mobile phone chip manufacturers, which also indicates that Qualcomm and MediaTek will have a battle in this market. It is worth pondering that just the day after Qualcomm released the new product, MediaTek also announced the release of its first Dimensity series 5G chip in 2021, the Dimensity 1200.
Of course, Qualcomm is also actively attacking. In 2020 alone, Qualcomm has launched a variety of cross-level Snapdragon 5G product portfolios. At present, Qualcomm’s 5G mobile platforms include: Snapdragon 8 series: Snapdragon 888, Snapdragon 870, Snapdragon 865 Plus, Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 855; Snapdragon 7 series: Snapdragon 768G, Snapdragon 765 and 765G, Snapdragon 750G; Snapdragon 6 Series: Snapdragon 690; Snapdragon 4 Series: Snapdragon 480.
This series of product combinations can satisfy terminal manufacturers to launch different grades of terminal products. Of course, the launch of these products is inseparable from high-intensity R&D investment. Qualcomm said that it has invested 66 billion US dollars in R&D expenses, or about 433.6 billion yuan. Recently, Qualcomm spent $1.4 billion to acquire Nuvia, a chip company founded by former Apple engineers, and plans to re-establish its leading position in chips.
It is reported that more than 700 5G terminals equipped with Qualcomm solutions have been released or are under development, covering smartphones, PCs, CPEs and IoT terminals. With the increase in shipments of 5G terminal products in the next year, Qualcomm will surely regain the number one position in total share.
5G terminals will usher in a big outbreak, and the Chinese market will become the key
As China takes the lead in the 5G field, Qualcomm is paying more and more attention to the Chinese market. The codename of the previously released “Snapdragon 888” is homophonic with the Chinese auspicious “fafafa”, and the determination to attack the Chinese market is self-evident.
Meng Lengyuan, chairman of Qualcomm China, said, “The Snapdragon 888 tries to reflect the achievements of Qualcomm China, and hopes that the whole world will experience the joy of China and make it all the way.” Analysts from research institute ABI Research pointed out that 12 of Qualcomm’s 14 partners are Chinese manufacturers, so the luck of “888” is also very important to the Chinese market.
And Qualcomm has also given strong support to the Chinese market. As early as early 2018, in order to help the Chinese smartphone industry seize the global opportunity of 5G, Qualcomm announced the “5G Pilot Program” together with a number of leading Chinese manufacturers, including Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE and Wingtech. of many partners. With the leading performance and first-launch advantage of Qualcomm’s 5G chip Snapdragon X50, these manufacturers quickly launched the first generation of 5G mobile phone products, catching up with the first train of 5G mobile phones in the world.
From the perspective of smartphone shipments, the data predicts that global 5G mobile phone shipments will reach 280 million to 300 million units in 2020, and China’s 5G mobile phone shipments account for the vast majority of the share. According to data released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the cumulative shipments of 5G mobile phones in the Chinese market in 2020 will reach 163 million units.
In the future, as terminals equipped with Qualcomm chips of different levels continue to be launched, it is believed that the performance of domestic 5G mobile phones will be further improved, the price will be more diversified, and the share of the global market will be further expanded.