Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 835, Quick Charge 4

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Qualcomm is manufacturing its next-generation mobile processor, the Snapdragon 835, in a partnership with Samsung, the companies announced today.

The two are increasingly rivals when it comes to chips for smartphones and tablets, but Qualcomm said it chose Samsung to produce the Snapdragon 835 in part because the Korean tech giant is the first to offer 10nm chip fabrication. Although Samsung uses Snapdragon processors in some of its devices, including the flagship Galaxy S7, it also makes its own Exynos-series mobile chips.

"This collaboration is an important milestone for our foundry business as it signifies confidence in Samsung's leading chip process technology," Samsung's chip foundry head, Jong Shik Yoon, said in a statement.

The 10nm fabrication process allows mobile chips to deliver either 27 percent higher performance or 40 percent lower power consumption. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 835 is in production now and expected to ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017.

Qualcomm today also revealed the next generation of its Quick Charge technology for smartphones and tablets, one week after Google strongly encouraged Android manufacturers to ditch Quick Charge and other similar technologies over compatibility concerns.

Quick Charge 4 will be 20 percent faster at charging devices and includes new protections against battery overcharging. It will start to show up in consumer devices in early 2017, Qualcomm said.

Last week, Google criticized third-party charging technologies for modifying the voltages of Android-powered devices beyond default levels, explaining that they may interfere with its own USB Type-C quick charging technology.

Google's USB Type-C specification requires between 4.45 and 5.25 volts, while Qualcomm Quick Charge typically uses 9 or 12 volts. Qualcomm said new power-management controllers in Quick Charge 4 are compatible with any high-voltage power source, including USB Type-C.

There are more than 100 Quick Charge-compatible mobile devices and more than 300 unique accessory products such as wall and car adapters, battery packs, and docking stations. In total, Qualcomm said, over 600 million mobile devices and accessories support Quick Charge technology.

For most devices, Quick Charge 4 will provide up to 50 percent battery charge in 15 minutes or less. By comparison, Google's own fast charging on the Pixel XL lets you charge the phone to 35 percent in 30 minutes, and fully in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google's advice to manufacturers to stop using Quick Charge and other third-party charging technology. In April, it issued a statement that said it has "received no reports of user experience or device malfunction issues with or without USB Type-C connectors."

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