Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Summit is an opportunity for the chipmaker to showcase the latest in silicon and the advancements its technologies bring to the next wave of devices and experiences across mobile, machine, voice, mixed reality, and more.
As part of the proceedings, it’s also where the company’s next flagship mobile chip (which is likely to power the next wave of The best Android phones Coming) And sure enough, on November 15, the highlight of the first day of the summit was the reveal of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Flights and accommodations for this launch event were funded by Qualcomm, but opinions reflect that of a freelance writer.
Those who follow Qualcomm’s current mobile chip naming convention may have already guessed that it is — after breaking out of the triple-digit system the year before — a successor for 2021. Snapdragon 8 of the first generation It was supposed to be the eighth generation of the second generation, and now it’s been galvanized.
To those familiar, the underlying CPU architecture (two “core” cores, backed by three performance cores and four efficiency cores) may not seem like a marked departure from its predecessor, but Qualcomm has made countless tweaks across its latest and greatest mobile SoC (SoC). on-chip) which brings significant improvements in key aspects of the mobile computing experience; Such as AI processing, gaming resolution, image processing, connectivity and energy efficiency.
cut to the chase
- What is this? New flagship mobile chipset from Qualcomm
- When is Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 released? Consumers will likely get their hands on 8 Gen 2-powered smartphones as early as December 2022, but the majority of devices using the chip will arrive in the first half of 2023.
- How much does the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 cost? Qualcomm sells 8G 2G directly to original equipment manufacturers (Original Equipment Manufacturers) — like Motorola, OnePlus, and Xiaomi — so end consumers only pay for the silicon as part of the total cost of smartphones that use it. Being the top-of-the-line of the company’s latest Snapdragon line, it will power devices that, at least initially, demand flagship prices; Probably in the range of $800 / £700 / AU$1200 and up.
So what are the most noteworthy improvements that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings to the table, and why should you care enough to actually want to upgrade to a phone with it?
Cameras that understand what they are looking at
One of the more exciting improvements that is set to deliver some tangible benefits to users is the 8th generation Cognitive Internet Service Provider.
What Qualcomm calls a “world’s first,” this generation’s Spectra ISP (Image Signal Processor) takes the existing image segmentation of its predecessor but brings the added benefit of real-time processing. This means that your device’s camera will be able to distinguish the sky from the ground, your cat from the freshly made bed, you decide to rest or the flower amidst the background foliage, and at the pixel level apply color, tone, sharpness and noise reduction algorithms to get the best final shot.
The real factor is that it can apply this level of real-time processing to both stills and video, and even show a more accurate image of the end result on the viewfinder during capture with minimal delay. So you know what you see, and what you get after you press the shutter or record, will reflect more directly.
The feature that will undoubtedly help the next wave of The best camera phones It stands out from the competition that is not based on the eighth generation of the second generation.
Better gaming visuals, including ray tracing
In 2021, one of the main areas that Samsung has Exynos 2200 What set the chip apart from its like-minded competitor — the eighth generation — was the inclusion of hardware acceleration support Ray tracing (Expect better visuals in games, punctuated by subtle reflections, soft shadows, and ambient occlusion.)
Naturally, Qualcomm has been eager to address that with its next follow-up, and sure enough, the 2G 8th generation is committed to accelerating ray tracing on mobile; With proven partners, such as the maker of some The best gaming phones About – red magic, supported titles such as War Thunder.
The Adreno GPU running on the 8 Gen 2 promises 25% faster performance, while also offering up to 45% more power efficiency, along with new support for Vulkan 1.3, the Chinese HDR Vivid standard and a feature called OLED aging compensation as well.
More concurrent AI tasks, while using less power
Artificial intelligence (yes, artificial intelligence) has been the rising star of mobile computing over the past few years, and that trend continues upwards with the 8th generation of the second generation.
While every major SoC already benefits from AI to some degree, this generation’s custom hexa processor offers a revised toolkit (including a Tensor accelerator that’s doubled in size) that’s set to deliver some significant gains.
Qualcomm promises a 4.35x speed increase when performing AI-based tasks, thanks in part to the fact that the 8 Gen 2 is the first of its kind to take advantage of something called INT4 (Integer 4) precision; Allowing 60% more AI-based tasks to be executed concurrently per watt.
Through what might just be arcane magic, Qualcomm can scale 32-bit operations to 4-bit without compromising the quality of the data sets being processed, which Ziad Asghar — Qualcomm’s vice president of product management — told TechRadar, amounts to 64-fold reduction in power. .
Always-on sensor hub upgrade
Modern phones can actually help us convert the analog world into digital; With features like semantic text recognition and object recognition, but the Sensing Hub inside the 8 Gen 2 is specifically designed to help with such tasks; It features two AI processing cores for twice the AI performance compared to 8 Gen 1, along with 50% more memory than before.
Sensing Hub supports an “always-on camera” (a paraphrase from the last generation of “always-on camera”), which is great for everything from QR code scanning to proximity detection, facial recognition, and even eye tracking — all without Need to open your device’s camera app.
Asghar confirmed to TechRadar that several OEM partners have been particularly interested in this aspect of the Sensing Hub, suggesting that the next wave of 8 Gen 2-powered phones may have the ability to scan and run QR codes and the like without having to. You are woken up or certain apps are opened to interact with them.
Despite its permanent nature, Qualcomm also states that the data processed by Sensing Hub never leaves your device.
5G and WiFi are faster and more flexible
Packing a Snapdragon X70 5G modem, the 2nd generation not only supports up to 10Gbps and 3.5Gbps over 5Gbps, but it is the first on the scene to boast DSDA (Dual SIM Dual Active) for two 5G SIMs, simultaneously and boast Also its own AI processor to improve cellular performance and power.
As before, both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G are supported, along with standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes.
What’s more — even though WiFi 6E looks like it’s barely out the door — the FastConnect 7800 inside 8 Gen 2 makes it one of the first consumer pieces of silicon to support the bandwidth and speeds of WiFi 7; It lost only to MediaTek’s new Dimensity 9200 chipset, which was announced just days ago.
With the growing popularity of streaming video at higher and higher resolutions and bit rates, along with the growing interest in competitive mobile and cloud gaming, these upgrades are necessary to allow these experiences to continue to evolve.
What phones will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?
Although Oppo is the first company to confirm that the next Find X-branded Android flagship phone (presumably Oppo Find X6 series) on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, (although no launch date confirmed). Qualcomm detailed a number of partners when revealing the chip.
Asus, Honor, Motorola OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and more have all committed to offering 8 Gen 2 powered devices in the near future, however, it will remain first to be seen.