For years, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been the talk of the town, and now it’s official. Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset for Android phones is built on Samsung‘s 4nm production process and incorporates ARM’s new ARMv9 CPU architecture.
CPU & GPU
The CPU uses the same tri cluster arrangement (1+3+4) as prior versions, although it is now ARMv9. The Cortex X2 will be the primary CPU core, running at 3.0GHz, with three Cortex-A710 performance cores running at 2.5GHz and four power-efficiency cores (Cortex A510) running at 1.8GHz. Aside from improvements in CPU frequency, the modern design promises a more power-efficient device.
The new CPU is 20% quicker and 30% more energy-efficient than the Snapdragon 888.
Qualcomm hasn’t revealed the GPU’s name, but a new architecture is believed to make the new Adreno 30% faster and 25% more energy efficient. Qualcomm has also included new gaming capabilities including The Adreno Frame Motion Engine, desktop-class volumetric lighting, and Variable Rate Shading Pro.
It’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up against Samsung’s planned AMD-powered mobile GPU.
X65 5G Modem
This 5G modem supports both sub-6 and mmWave bands, with peak download speeds up to 10 Gbps. It also introduces carrier aggregation for the first time, implying faster mobile data rates. There is also WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, and various Bluetooth connection upgrades.
Snapdragon Sight (ISP)
The camera hardware on the processor has advanced to the point that it now has its own brand, the Snapdragon Sight. The new ISP has a processing speed of 3.2 gigapixels per second. This implies it can take 240 12MP images in a second and 30 108MP images in a second. Take a time to absorb it.
The highest video recording resolution remains at 8K 30 FPS, but it now supports HDR10 and 10+ along with electronic image stabilisation (EIS). It also allows you to take 64MP photos while recording 8K 30 FPS films. 4K Videos now include the bokeh effect.
The Mega Multi Frame Engine enhances night photography, while Video Super-Resolution boosts digital zoom on smartphones. The chip’s AI skills have advanced to the point that it can currently track 300 distinct face landmarks. On the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, there is also a third ISP that provides Always-On camera functionality for enhanced face unlocking and other functions.
The AI engine can now do four times as much work while using 70% less power.
The introduction of the Trust Management Engine, which will sit beneath other onboard security technologies, has enhanced the security chip. In this manner, even if the security systems are penetrated, they will not be compromised.
The Snapdragon Sight’s Always On camera creates security worries, but the new security chip handles it effectively. The chip ensures that no data from the ISP is sent outside of the device. OEMs can also select whether or not to enable the always-on camera functionality.
The first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphones are scheduled to be released later this month.