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Qualcomm pushes 5G to lower-tier smartphones

Qualcomm made good on a pledge to drive 5G into mass-market devices by incorporating the technology into its 6-series chipset, predicting this would address growing demand for next-generation services.

In a briefing, Qualcomm senior director of product management Deepu John argued 5G is “more than simply” a next-generation leap, with the technology enabling the vendor to make “flagship experiences available to everyone”.

Heading the 5G 6-series push is the Snapdragon 690 processor, which offers imaging credentials spanning 4K HDR; up to 192MP cameras; and 120Hz displays. The processor also features Qualcomm’s fifth-generation AI Engine, offering smart camera and video, voice translation, and advanced picture and gaming functions.

The chip maker reiterated plans to push 5G into its 6-series in 2020 in an announcement during IFA 2019 which also involved its 8-series and 7-series.

Snapdragon 690 will be made available to partners in the second half of this year. John predicted the first devices featuring the chipset will launch shortly after, with prices ranging from $300 to $500: HMD Global; LG Electronics; Lenovo (Motorola); Sharp; TCL Communication; and smart hardware manufacturer Wingtech are preparing releases.

Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon explained these will add to the more than 375 5G models spanning its entire range of chips which are in progress or already available.

He said expanding the next-generation technology to the Snapdragon 6-series offers the “potential to make 5G accessible to more than 2 billion smartphone users” globally.

“We’re driving the proliferation of 5G across multiple tiers to make the next generation of camera, AI, gaming and productivity more broadly available”.


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Byron Adonis Mutingwende