Qualcomm has unveiled a new mobile chip for entry-level handsets at a launch event in New Delhi today. The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is designed to bring 4G connectivity to entry-level smartphones and low cost features phones, to keep up with and accelerate demand for faster mobile data in emerging markets.
The 205 SoC comes equipped with a Category 4 LTE modem for peak download speeds of up to 150Mbps and uploads at 50Mbps, with support for dual SIMs too. There’s also Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, ANT+, and FM radio support included.
However, unlike the high performance SoCs that we may traditionally associate with Qualcomm, the 205 is designed with maximum power efficiency and low costs in mind. The SoC contains a dual core Cortex A7 CPU configuration running at 1.1GHz and is accompanied by an Adreno 304 GPU that can output a display resolution of just 480p at 60fps. Still, Qualcomm states that the processor supports a “Linux based OS”, so presumably a cut down version of Android will run just fine. Qualcomm also mentions that the chip should be able to offer up to 34 days of standby time, 16 hours of voice calls, and 80 hours of music playback when presumably used in a low power feature phone.
“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the migration of users and networks from 2G, 2.5G,and 3G to 4G … Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before.” – Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm
Importantly, the chip is pin compatible with Qualcomm’s existing entry level Snapdragon 210 and 212, giving manufacturers a cost effective and convenient solution to incorporate the 205 with existing designs and technology.
According to research from IDC, feature phones remain in high demand in many countries, with 56 percent of users opting for one over a smartphone in India during 2016, and 49 percent in Vietnam. However, India’s 4G capable phone shipments are expected to accelerate from 55 percent this year to 90 percent in 2020, as consumers continue to be driven towards social media, consuming news online, making video calls, and streaming video. With the 205 SoC, Qualcomm is looking to enable local manufacturers to build these 4G devices at cost effective price points.
The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is expected to appear in its first devices come the second quarter of 2017.