Qualcomm is working on Snapdragon 860, a stripped-down version of the Snapdragon 865: report

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Not too long ago, Qualcomm’s flagship chip, the Snapdragon 865, got a mid-cycle refresh. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is largely the same as the original chip, save for a 10 percent improvement in CPU and GPU performance. Apparently, a watered-down version is also on the way.

According to leaker Digital Chat Station (via GIZMOCHINA), a recent OPPO meeting has revealed the existence of the Snapdragon 860. This is the first time we are hearing about this silicon, and judging by its name, it will be a lighter version of the Snapdragon 865. If that’s indeed the case, it will also be based on the 7nm manufacturing process and support 5G connectivity.

We don’t know much about the Snapdragon 860

Other details remain sparse at the moment, but OPPO’s next high-end device could be the first phone to carry the chip. 

Qualcomm has slowly been hiking up the price of its premium 800 series chips and this is supposedly the reason why Google Pixel 5 will feature a mid-tier processor. Thus, it’s probable that the rumored Snapdragon 860 is Qualcomm’s attempt at retaining vendors.
Both Google and OPPO are believed to be working on their custom SoCs. While Google’s chip is expected to make a debut next year with the Pixel 6, OPPO’s plans aren’t that clear.

If OPPO manages to come out without its own chip, sister companies OnePlus and Vivo might ditch Qualcomm too. 

Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and given America’s mistrust of Chinese companies, an in-house chip is bound to raise eyebrows.

Towards the end of the year, Qualcomm will reportedly announce the Snapdragon 875G, which will be made on 5nm nodes, resulting in better performance and power efficiency. Per the leak, even this chip will have a light version.

Provided the information is accurate, it looks like Qualcomm’s new strategy is to release three versions of its flagship chip each year.

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