New nomenclature for Qualcomm chips. After last year’s Snapdragon 888, which had opposed the previous 835, 845, 855 and 865, we moved on to the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 1”. The 8 continues to be the symbol of the “premium” product and the models will follow from year to year going to Gen 2, 3, etc.
Games in the spotlight
Other than that, we remain familiar with this System-on-a-Chip, the details of which were unveiled on November 30 at the now-traditional Qualcomm Hawaiian conference. Therefore, we are entitled to the classic 30% increase in graphics performance (rendering speed) with the new Adreno for 25% improved energy efficiency compared to the previous generation. Features like the Adreno Frame Motion Engine and Variable Rate Shading Pro boost performance even further in games, an area in which Qualcomm seeks to excel.
The CPU, on the other hand, is not featured this year. Perhaps the sign that the 2021 vintage is not exceptional, Qualcomm arrives regularly, but not consistently, to get more performance than the standard design provided by Arm when customizing these cores. It must be said that Qualcomm seeks to improve the performance of its CPUs, in particular to stand up to Apple, and that it has Nuvia, a start-up that it bought at the beginning of the year for 1.4 billion to make. so. of dollars.
A download speed of 10 GB / s in 5G
Connectivity, a historical strength of the Snapdragon, is provided by the X65 modem and its associated RF system (antennas and other components that allow the sending, reception and conversion of signals). Qualcomm advertises a maximum download speed of 10 gigabits per second for 5G and 3.6 Gb / s on Wi-Fi 6E with its FastConnect 6900 system.
8K HDR10 + video
An important element of any modern smartphone with a display, the camera is also in the spotlight with several new features. Snapdragon Sight includes an 18-bit ISP to capture more and more details in each frame (4,000 times more data than its predecessor, according to Qualcomm) at a speed of 3.2 gigapixels per second.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can also capture 8K video with HDR10 +. A new ISP (“Always-On ISP”) has also been integrated to provide dynamic phone lock / unlock capabilities using facial recognition.
Enhanced data security
On the security side, the platform integrates for the first time a “trust management engine” to better protect user data and serve as a guarantee of trust for applications and services (a bit like a TPM chip in PCs). It is also compatible with Android Ready Secure Element (for storing virtual car keys or driver’s licenses).
The first smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will launch later this year in Asia. Orders are already underway for a multitude of brands, including Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Redmi, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
Julien Bergounhoux @JBergounhoux
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