Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 778G, a 5G-focused mid-range chip

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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 778G, a 5G-focused mid-range chip


Earlier in March, Qualcomm refreshed the Snapdragon 7 series lineup with the launch of the Snapdragon 780G. While the new chip has only found its way to a single commercial device (the Mi 11 Lite 5G), the San Diego-based chipmaker is adding one more 7 series chip to its portfolio. Meet the Snapdragon 778G: the successor to last year’s Snapdragon 768G.

The Snapdragon 778G retains many of the key aspects of the Snapdragon 780G but settles for a slightly lowered binned GPU and less powerful ISP. At the same time, the chip also boasts a faster CPU, better modem with support for mmWave 5G, and support for faster memory. Just like other Snapdragon 7 series chipsets, the goal with the Snapdragon 778G is to deliver some of the premium features from the top-tier Snapdragon 8 series portfolio in a more affordable package.

Specifications Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G
CPU Kryo 475 CPU cores (up to 2.4GHz)

  • 1x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.8GHz
  • 1x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.4GHz
  • 6x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz
Kryo 670 CPU cores (up to 2.4GHz)

  • 4x ARM Cortex-A78 @ 2.4GHz
  • 4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz
Kryo 670 CPU cores (up to 2.4GHz)

  • 1x ARM Cortex-A78 @ 2.4GHz
  • 3x ARM Cortex-A78 @ 2.2GHz
  • 4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.9GHz
GPU
  • Adreno 620
    • Vulkan 1.1
    • H.265 (HEVC) and VP9 decoder
    • HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG
  • Adreno 642L
    • Vulkan 1.1
    • Snapdragon Elite Gaming Features
    • HDR Gaming (10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut)
    • H.265 and VP9 decoder
    • HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Adreno 642
    • Vulkan 1.1
    • Snapdragon Elite Gaming Features
    • HDR Gaming (10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut)
    • H.265 and VP9 decoder
    • HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Display 
  • Maximum On-Device Display Support: FHD+ @ 120Hz
  • Maximum External Display Support: 4K @ 60Hz
  • HDR support
  • 10-bit color depth
  • DisplayPort over USB Type-C support
  • Maximum On-Device Display Support: FHD+ @ 144Hz
  • Maximum External Display Support: 4K @ 60Hz
  • 10-bit color depth, Rec 2o20 color gamut
  • HDR10 and HDR10+ support
  • 10-bit color depth
  • DisplayPort over USB Type-C support
  • Maximum On-Device Display Support: FHD+ @ 144Hz
  • Maximum External Display Support: 4K @ 60Hz
  • 10-bit color depth, Rec 2o20 color gamut
  • HDR10 and HDR10+ support
  • 10-bit color depth
  • DisplayPort over USB Type-C support
AI
  • 5th gen AI Engine
  • Hexagon 696 processor
  • Qualcomm Sensing Hub
  • 5.5 TOPS performance
  • 6th gen AI Engine
  • Hexagon 770 processor
  • Qualcomm Sensing Hub (2nd gen)
  • 12 TOPS performance
  • 6th gen AI Engine
  • Hexagon 770 processor
  • Qualcomm Sensing Hub (2nd gen)
  • 12 TOPS performance
Memory
  • LPDDR4 (2133MHz)
  • Up to 12GB RAM
  • LPDDR5 (3200MHz)
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • LPDDR4 (2133MHz)
  • Up to 16GB RAM
ISP
  • Dual 14-bit Spectra 355 ISP
  • Single camera: Up to 36MP with ZSL
  • Dual camera: Up to 22MP with ZSL
  • Video capture:
  • Triple 14-bit Spectra 570L ISP
  • Single-camera: Up to 64MP with Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL)
  • Dual camera: Up to 36MP + 22MP with ZSL
  • Triple camera: Up to 22MP with ZSL
  • Multi-frame and Staggered HDR sensor support
  • Video capture:
  • Triple 14-bit Spectra 570 ISP
  • Single-camera: Up to 84MP with Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL)
  • Dual camera: Up to 64MP + 20MP with ZSL
  • Triple camera: Up to 25MP with ZSL
  • Low light photography architecture
  • Multi-frame and stagged HDR sensor support
  • Video capture:
Modem
  • Snapdragon X52 4G LTE and 5G multimode modem (integrated)
  • Downlink: 3.7Gbps (5G), 1.2Gbps (4G LTE)
  • sub-6 GHz: 100MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
  • Snapdragon X53 4G LTE and 5G multimode modem (integrated)
  • Downlink: 3.7Gbps (5G)
  • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
  • mmWave: 400MHz, 2×2 MIMO
  • sub-6 GHz: 100MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
  • Snapdragon X53 4G LTE and 5G multimode modem (integrated)
  • Downlink: 3.3Gbps (5G)
  • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
  • sub-6 GHz: 100MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
Charging
Connectivity
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6200
  • WiFI 6 ready
  • 2.4GHz / 5GHz bands
  • TWT, WPA3, 8×8 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.2, aptX TWS, and Adaptive
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6700
  • WiFI 6E, WiFI 6
  • 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz bands
  • 8×8 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.2, aptX suite
  • Dual Bluetooth antenna
  • Snapdragon Sound compatible
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6700
  • WiFI 6E, WiFI 6
  • 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz bands
  • 8×8 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.2, aptX suite
  • Dual Bluetooth antenna
  • Snapdragon Sound compatible
Manufacturing process Samsung’s 7nm process TSMC’s 6nm process Samsung’s 5nm process

In terms of technical details, the Snapdragon 778G isn’t overall that different from the Snapdragon 780G. It has a similar CPU architecture, with an octa-core CPU clocked at up to 2.4GHz with a claimed 40% performance boost over Snapdragon 768G. On the GPU side, the Snapdragon 778G comes with the Adreno 642L, which Qualcomm claims offers up to 40% faster graphics rendering than its predecessor. Qualcomm isn’t detailing the clock speed of the GPU, but it’s most probably clocked at a slightly slower frequency than the Adreno 642 in the 780G.

Snapdragon 778G Snapdragon Elite Gaming features

As for gaming, the chip supports select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features such as Variable Rate Shading (VRS) that helps game developers offer higher visual fidelity while reducing the GPU workload, and Qualcomm Game Quick Touch, which offers up to 30% faster touch response rate in games.

The Snapdragon 778G comes with the Spectra 570L Image Signal Processor. The triple 14-bit ISP can capture concurrent video or image feeds from a primary, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensor. OEMs can configure up to three 22MP triple cameras with Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL), up to 36MP+22MP sensors with ZSL in a dual-camera setup, or up to a single 64MP sensor with ZSL. The Spectra 570L also supports Staggered HDR image sensors for computational HDR video capture, HDR10+ video capture, and burst capture at up to 120fps.

Although the Snapdragon 778G offers similar performance when compared to the Snapdragon 780G, there’s one area where it’s actually superior to its more powerful sibling: memory. The Snapdragon 778G supports LPDDR5 memory chips with a capacity of up to 16GB. In comparison, the Snapdragon 780G only supports LPDDR4 memory chips.

The Snapdragon 778G is also fabricated on TSMC’s 6nm process while the Snapdragon 780G is fabricated on Samsung’s 6nm process. Due to the ongoing global chip shortage affecting many different vendors, including Qualcomm, it seems that Qualcomm is upping the production of its upper mid-tier products to meet demand from smartphone manufacturers.

On the connectivity front, the Snapdragon 778G supports the FastConnect 6700 system, which enables support for WiFi 6/6E, 8×8 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, and Snapdragon Sound suite. As usual, OEMs are free to utilize alternative WiFi/Bluetooth chips, so these features aren’t guaranteed to be supported on any given device. On the other hand, mobile data connectivity is handled by the integrated Snapdragon X53 5G modem with peak download speeds of up to 3.7Gbps, 5G mmWave and Sub-6GHz support, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, 5G SA and NSA, and more. The mmWave 5G part is interesting as the Snapdragon 780G doesn’t support the higher-speed 5G technology.

Availability

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G is expected to arrive in smartphones launching in Q2 2021. Motorola, Realme, iQOO, Xiaomi, Honor, and OPPO are among the list of OEMs who have confirmed to launch a phone with Snapdragon 778G.

In a statement, Motorola says its Snapdragon 778G-powered device will feature the company’s “Ready For” platform. “Ready For” is Motorola’s desktop mode-like feature that debuted with the Android 11 update for the Edge+. While Motorola, Xiaomi, iQOO, and OPPO have not confirmed specific device models, Honor and Realme have commented on which upcoming smartphone models will be powered by the new chipset. Honor has said that its upcoming Honor 50 series will feature the new chipset, while Realme says the “new realme X series” device will feature it. Given that the last Realme X series was the Realme X3, we suspect that the Realme device(s) in question with the chipset will be part of the Realme X4 series.



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