07 December 2018
Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit is currently underway in Hawaii and on the first day, it took the stage to make the biggest announcement of the event: Snapdragon 855 processor. Yes, that is right. Qualcomm's next-gen flagship chipset is called Snapdragon 855, not Snapdragon 8150 as clarified by a recent report and speculated by various leaks.
The all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is based on 7nm manufacturing process and will be competing with the likes of Apple's A12 Bionic and Huawei's Kirin 980 chipsets. This is the first 7nm processor from the company as Snapdragon 845 and 835 were 10nm offerings. It means one should expect significantly more power and better efficiency with the latest unveiling.
The biggest addition to the new Snapdragon 855 chipset is its compatibility with Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It means the processor is capable of bringing 5G network connectivity to the smartphones it will be powering. And as we all know, it will be featuring on the spec-sheet of almost every Android flagship next year. But it seems like 5G modem will be an optional thing and it will be up to OEMs whether they want to incorporate.
With the latest chipset, Qualcomm says there will be up to three times better AI performance when compared with the predecessor. It is possible with the use of 4th generation Qualcomm AI Engine which is a multi-core engine. It further features "world's first" Computer Vision (CV) ISP which should help in better and faster image processing. It seems similar to what Google did with the Pixel Visual Core chip available on Pixel phones.
Other features include Snapdragon Elite Gaming which is said to bring "next level gaming experiences to premium mobile devices". It further announced Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor which is its own take on ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanners and is claimed to be better and more accurate than other available options.