Qualcomm is hosting a bunch of influencers, analysts, and tech press at its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021 in Maui, Hawaii where the company has formally announced its new Snapdragon 8 Gen1 SoC.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen1 SoC drops the "Qualcomm" branding from the name, and while we don't have totally next-generation performance from the CPU and GPU side of things, we do have a lot of new goodies and world-firsts with the Snapdragon 8 Gen1.
Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen1 has the 4th gen Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, enabling the new Snapdragon 8 to be the most advanced 5G mobile platform in the world -- and not only that -- but also the world's first 5G modem-RF solution that breaches 10Gbps download speeds. Crazy stuff for the future of mobile connectivity. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will make it into devices from the following companies: Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Redmi, SHARP, Sony Corporation, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
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CPU-wise, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen1 has:
- 1 x Kyro prime core (based on ARM's Cortex-X2 @ 2.9GHz)
- 3 x Kyro performance cores (based on ARM's Cortex-A710 @ 2.5GHz)
- 4 x Kryo efficiency cores (based on ARM's Cortex-A510 @ 1.79GHz).
On the GPU side of the fence, Qualcomm says the new Adreno GPU is up to 30% faster than its predecessor while being 25% more power-efficient. Qualcomm also adds that the new Adreno GPU supports the Vulkan 1.1 API, with a huge 60% GPU performance improvement in tow.
There's a new Spectra 680 Image Signal Processor (ISP) with bandwidth boosted up to 3.2 Gigapixels per second, which enables up to 108-megapixel @ 30FPS, as well as 8K HDR video footage and 64-megapixel images... all at the same time.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Highlights:
- Snapdragon® 8 Gen 1 leads the way into a new era of premium mobile technology
- Most advanced 5G mobile platform and the world's first 5G modem-RF solution to reach 10 Gigabit download speeds
- Snapdragon Sight™ Camera Technology includes the first commercial 18-bit mobile IS
- Industry-leading on-device AI powered by the 7th Gen Qualcomm® AI Engine
- 4th Gen Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ features offer desktop-level gaming experiences to surpass the demands of mobile gamers
- World's first platform compliant with the Android Ready Secure Element (SE) Alliance
Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile, compute, and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc explains: "As the world's most advanced mobile platform, Snapdragon is synonymous with premium Android experiences and the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 sets the standard for the next generation of flagship mobile devices. It delivers connectivity, photography, AI, gaming, sound, and security experiences never before available in a smartphone".
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Key Features:
- Connectivity: Equipped with the 4th gen Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, the new Snapdragon 8 is the most advanced 5G mobile platform and the world's first 5G modem-RF solution to reach 10 Gigabit download speeds. Snapdragon 8 features the Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6900 Mobile Connectivity System supporting the fastest Wi-Fi speeds available-up to 3.6 Gbps-over Wi-Fi 6 and 6E to ensure games and apps perform smoothly, even with multiple devices on one network.
- Camera: This new premium mobile platform takes smartphone photography beyond pro. Snapdragon Sight™ Technology includes the first commercial 18-bit mobile ISP, capturing over 4000x more camera data than its predecessor for extreme dynamic range, color, and sharpness at staggering speeds up to 3.2 gigapixels per second. This is also the first 8K HDR video capture in a mobile platform and it's capable of capturing in the premium HDR10+ format that's loaded with over a billion shades of color. Video will look even more stunning thanks to the new Bokeh Engine which adds beautiful soft backgrounds to videos; it's like Portrait Mode for video capture. Snapdragon 8 also includes a fourth separate ISP, the new Always-On ISP, which allows the camera to run with extremely low power consumption so users can experience always-on face unlocking and locking if your face isn't present for heightened privacy.
- AI: The 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine is equipped with the ultra-high performance and efficient Qualcomm® Hexagon™ processor, featuring a 2x faster tensor accelerator and 2x larger shared memory than its predecessor. Users can capture pro-quality images thanks to intelligently integrated Leica Leitz Look filters-recreating their legendary bokeh effect. The latest AI-based natural language processing from Hugging Face can intelligently serve as your personal assistant by prioritizing and analyzing your notifications. Working with Sonde Health, we are using on-device AI to accelerate their models that can analyze a user's vocal patterns to determine if a user is at risk for health conditions such as asthma, depression, and COVID-19. Also, a new always-on AI system is powered by the 3rd Gen Qualcomm® Sensing Hub with more data streams being processed using lowest power AI.
- Gaming: With over 50 Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, Snapdragon 8 delivers ultra-smooth responsiveness, color-rich HDR scenes at the highest visual quality, and desktop-level capabilities that are mobile-firsts. The new Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU provides a 30% boost in graphics rendering capabilities and 25% improvement in power savings compared to the previous generation to unlock a new generation of mobile GPUs. The platform delivers, Adreno Frame Motion Engine to can generate twice as many frames while maintaining the same power consumption. Another mobile-first feature is Variable Rate Shading Pro to provide a finer grain of control for game developers to further tune game performance. Desktop-level Volumetric rendering brings unrivaled realism to fog, smoke, and particle effects that have been optimized for mobile by Qualcomm Technologies' in-house Snapdragon Studios.
- Sound: Users can experience a new class of crisp, crystal-clear voice and music with integrated Bluetooth 5.2 and Snapdragon Sound™ Technology, now featuring Qualcomm® aptX™ Lossless Technology for CD-quality lossless wireless audio. This is the first Snapdragon mobile platform to support all-new LE audio features such as broadcast audio, stereo recording, and voice back-channel for gaming.
- Security: Snapdragon 8 features vault-like security to help keep users' data protected. This is the first Snapdragon platform to feature a dedicated Trust Management Engine to achieve heightened security and provide additional Root of Trust for apps and services. Snapdragon 8 is also the world's first mobile platform to feature Android Ready SE-the new standard for digital car keys, drivers' licenses, and more. Additionally, the Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit features support for iSIM, an integrated SIM card so users can easily and securely connect to cellular networks without a SIM card.
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