With the increasing number of custom mobile processors, such as the Google Tensor, Qualcomm must catch up. The company just announced its next flagship chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which promises to usher in a new era for mobile computing.
Behind the Snapdragon 888 Last year, Qualcomm hopes to distinguish its new flagship mobile chip from previous generations with the use of a new naming scheme as well as a host of new features and capabilities.
Instead of Snapdragon 898, Qualcomm has named its new chip Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and is expected to apply a similar scheme to cheap entry-level and mid-range chips (e.g. Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 rather than something like Snapdragon 695). Qualcomm says the name change was tested with focus groups and apparently got a positive reaction, although personally I think the Snapdragon 888 comes off the tongue much better than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. But the name change passed, let’s move on to the important things.
For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm has updated almost every aspect of its CPU’s mobile performance. The company says that the new Kryo CPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 features a high-performance ARM Cortex-X2 core and offers 20% faster overall performance and 30% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 888, while that the new Adreno GPU features even greater enhancements with 30% faster and 25% more efficient graphics.
To compete with much-improved AI processing from rivals like Google’s Tensor chip, Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 incorporates a new 7th-generation AI engine that delivers four times the processing of before, twice the shared memory. and twice better tensor acceleration. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has a new 3rd generation Sensing Hub designed to provide better low power AI performance. And since artificial intelligence and machine learning performance are fast becoming one of the most important aspects of a mobile SoC, the new AI engine in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could be one of the most important deciding factors for mobile devices. phone makers trying to decide which chip will drive their future smartphones and tablets.
The other area in which Qualcomm claims to have made significant improvements is camera performance with the addition of Snapdragon Sight, which features a new 18-bit ISP that can capture up to 8K HDR video in real time while simultaneously capturing video. supports improved low-light processing. The move to an 18-bit ISP reflects a similar move to MediaTek with the recently announced Dimensity 9000Although Qualcomm also has other useful features on the chip, such as a dedicated bokeh engine for video, a new engine for correcting distortion created by ultrawide lenses, and more.
However, what could be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s biggest advantage over its competitors is the built-in support for Qualcomm’s X65 5G modem, which promises 5G maximum theoretical speeds of up to 10Gbps. Unlike the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, which does not yet support 5G mmWave, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 works with standalone and non-standalone 5G networks using both sub-6Ghz and mmWave. And adding support for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 should also offer fast wireless speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps.
When it comes to gaming, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 uses the new Adreno Frame Motion Engine to deliver higher fps rates and smoother animations, while the new Audiokinetic technology promises to deliver a “console-quality” audio experience, though I’m going to wait until I can hear this for myself before I believe it.
Like all announcements for new mobile chips, it’s important to remember that while the SoC itself may support a host of fancy new features, it’s ultimately up to device manufacturers (Samsung, OnePlus, etc.) to implement. all new Qualcomm technologies. on future phones. Qualcomm says that new devices with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip could be available (or at least be announced) sometime before the end of this year, so hopefully it won’t be long until we can see what can really make Qualcomm’s new flagship mobile chip.