Spreadtrum Reborn:  Unannounced SoC With Impressive AI Performance

For many years, Spreadtrum was holding a tiny share of the mobile SoC market and was primarily known for its budget processors for extremely low-end Android devices. It looks like with its recent rebranding you should forget everything that you knew about Spreadtrum - while being an early prototype, its new chipset is already beating the giants of the SoC industry.

Below are the detailed performance results of this prototype. Please note that this is an early engineering sample (known as Spreadtrum ud710_3h10_native), thus it might appear on the market under a different name.

AI Performance:  Float AI Models

This is probably the strongest and the most impressive part of the new Spreadtrum's SoC - for the most common float AI models, it demonstrates the performance beating all mid-range chipsets, Kirin 970 and even Snapdragon 855. Yes, that's not a mistake - UD710 is here faster than the Qualcomm's flagship chipset, outperforming it in 5 out of 6 tasks:

On the chart above, one can see the average inference time for six common AI models used in image classification, face recognition, image enhancement and super-resolution tasks. Spreadtrum UD710 is generally demonstrating a 15-50% advantage over SDM855, having some trouble only with a relatively simple SRCNN 9-5-5 model used for photo deblurring and super-resolution. Overall, its float performance is very close to the results of Kirin 980, though the accuracy of the computations is somewhat lower that results in the smaller total score.

CPU Performance

Spreadtrum's plain CPU performance is also quite decent. For integer computations, its scores are lying between the results of the last year flagships - Exynos 9810 and Snapdragon 845, substantially outperforming all current mid-range SoCs from Qualcomm, MediaTek and Huawei. The speed of float computations is not that awesome, though it is still at the level of Snapdragon 710, Exynos 9610 and Kirin 710. All in all, CPU results are looking very convincing, and are clearly far away from everything we've seen from Spreadtrum in the past.

Other Performance Aspects

Unfortunately, the tested prototype was lacking drivers for quantized AI models, so this part of UD710's performance remains still unclear, though even without this acceleration it is already approaching Snapdragon 845 in AI Benchmark:

The biggest question that is left is the performance of its graphical system. If Spreadtrum won't fail here too, we will clearly see a very competitive solution that might further bridge the gap between premium- and mid-tier SoCs. The release date of UD710 is not yet specified, so everything will now depend on Spreadtrum's promptness: if this chipset is finalized in time, mobile SoC market might finally get the fifth strong player.

18 April 2019 Andrey Ignatov | AI Benchmark

Copyright © 2019 by A.I.

ETH Zurich, Switzerland