Back in 2020, Qualcomm changed the chipset game with the release of the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform. In 2021, the company took it further with the release of the Snapdragon 888 SoC. And with the release of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, the company is bringing more heat in 2022.
Qualcomm announced the release of its long-awaited chip “Snapdragon 8 Gen 1” in its Tech Summit which started on November 30, 2021. The company is making some huge claims as to why this new chip is better than its predecessors and other chips in the market.
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Some of the claims include better CPU and GPU cores, advanced AI, better ISP, faster MODEM, and improved battery efficiency. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the technical terms used by Qualcomm to see how this translates for day-to-day use.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a chipset for Android phones manufactured by Qualcomm. Its process node and technology is 4nm and It’s the SoC that will power most Android smartphones in 2022. This chip features an octa-core CPU clocked at 3.0 GHz with a peak download speed of 10Gbps.
To get to know what this chip can do in a smartphone in 2022, let’s try and break it down by some of its important components.
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CPU and GPU
The CPU architecture of this chip is 64-bit just like its predecessors. Its CPU cores are Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU with speed clocked at 3.0 GHz. According to Qualcomm, the CPU is 20% faster than the Snapdragon 888 5G chip.
Qualcomm is calling the GPU inside this chip the “Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU” and the company claims it’s 30% better compared to its predecessors. This means, with the GPU, you can play more graphics-intensive games without experiencing lags.
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Also, the AI inside this chip can help the GPU adjust frame rates to match whatever games you’re playing. In simple terms, a device powered by this chip is expected to process data at a really fast rate.
Qualcomm has built in the network MODEM inside the chip, hence the term “Mobile Platform”. The name of the MODEM inside this chip is “Snapdragon™ X65 5G Modem-RF System” and it includes 5G networks (GSM/Edge, CDMA, HSPA, WCDMA, LTE including CBRS support).
The company seems to make a lot of improvements here as the peak download speed jumped by about 2.5 Gbps. With this new MODEM, the peak download speed is 10 Gbps which is a big jump from 7.5 Gbps found in the Snapdragon 888+ 5G.
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So on day-to-day use, users can expect faster internet access and faster download speed with this chip inside a device. Part of the reason for this is that this chip uses AI to direct signal power between antennas inside the device. I’ll explain this below.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has become a huge part of our lives and this chip is packed with loads of them. From its imaging processing to antenna direction, this chip features AI almost everywhere.
For example, Qualcomm claims that the AI of this chip can detect your voice and scan for any change. Then predict if you’re sick or not. AI inside this chip can also detect when your hand is blocking a network antenna and then direct the power signal to other antennas that are unblocked.
There is also a separate AI that is always one to use the camera of a device for Face Unlock. Meaning, you won’t have to wake your device before your Face Unlock works. This AI can also detect when there is another face in the background and alert you.
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All this is in addition to the real-time translation, text to speech, speech to text features, smart alarm system, and other AI already in the previous Qualcomm chip. It is just so much you can do with a device powered by this chip in 2022.
Image Signal Processing (ISP)
Image Signal Processing (ISP) is very important in a smartphone. While megapixels and good cameras sensors are important, you need a good ISP to process good image quality. Just like its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is coming with three separate ISP inside. This means it can process images from three different camera sensors at once.
As I said in the AI segment above, there is a fourth AI ISP in the chip that only uses the camera of the device for Face Unlock. More impressive about this chip is that it can shoot 8k videos with a wider frame rate. And this brings better stabilization and less blurry videos.
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This chip also features Cinematic Mode and Mega Night Mode. The list of what the IPS inside this chip can do is almost endless.
Power efficiency is one of the many reasons why the Apple A15 Bionic chip is king. Well, Qualcomm is hoping to take the throne with this chip. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is fabricated on a 4nm process. This means all the components are closely related.
With these components being close means data can be transferred more quickly using less power. If data can be transferred and processes can be done more quickly, it means there will be less power consumption. And this in turn means better battery life for devices powered by this chip. We still have to wait to see how effective this will be in real life.
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Display and Wireless
The max display on devices using this chip is 4K @ 60 Hz, QHD+ @ 144 Hz. This chip also has support for HDR10 and HDR10+. Its color depth is up to 10-bit and it also supports an external display up to 4K @ 60 Hz.
When it comes to wireless features, this chip has Wi-Fi support. Its Wi-Fi system is the Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6900 with a peak speed of 3.6 Gbps. The Wi-Fi spectra bands are; 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz.
It also supports Bluetooth that uses the same system as the Wi-Fi above. The Bluetooth version supported is Bluetooth 5.2. There is also support for NFC, Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS, NavIC, GPS, and QZSS.
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Over the years, Qualcomm has really impressed users and OEM’s with its chipset. That is why most flagship Android phones make use of their chip. Once again, the company has proved this with the specs of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Truth us, some of these features might not be fully utilized by some smartphone manufacturers. And real-life experience can be quite different from paper specs. Well, we don’t have to wait too long as most companies will be releasing smartphones using this chip soon.
Source | Qualcomm