02 December 2021
At the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm has taken wraps off its next-gen flagship processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It is the first chipset to feature the company's new naming scheme and branding schematics. It will power the majority of the 2022 Android flagships and, as one would expect, is packed with new features and improvements.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the company's first processor based on the 4nm manufacturing process. It has ARM's latest ARM v9 architecture same as MediaTek's Dimensity 9000. There is a single 3.0GHz Cortex-X2 core available with three 2.5GHz Cortex-A710 cores and dual 1.8GHz Cortex-A510 cores. It is claimed to deliver a 20% performance boost and 30% better power efficiency as compared to the predecessor Snapdragon 888 processor.
The chipset has an unnamed Adreno GPU claimed to offer 30% faster graphics processing while being 25% more power-efficient in comparison to last year's offering. This should be good news for mobile gamers as they not only seek faster and smoother performance but improved battery life too. It further has the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine which is now four times faster. It has twice the shared memory and a 2x fast tensor accelerator.
Qualcomm has further announced a new Snapdragon Sight Technology branding for its camera ISP. The new processor features an 18-bit ISP capable of capturing over 4000 times more camera data than the last-gen. It is capable of capturing up to 200-megapixel still images and shooting up to 8K HDR10+ videos. The ISP is so powerful that it can click 200 12MP shots in one second or click 64MP still shots while recording video in 8K HDR at the same time.
One special feature is support for always-on camera technology. Qualcomm says it can be helpful in different situations like turning off the display when the phone is placed inside the pocket or when someone is trying to have a peek at your phone over your shoulder. It is said to be secure for users as all always-on camera data is stored locally on the device itself.
In terms of connectivity, Qualcomm has made use of the fourth-gen Snapdragon X65 5G modem. It supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands with the capability to deliver up to 10Gbps speeds. It goes without saying that this is theoretical and you will not be able to reach anywhere close to that number in real life. It further supports WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E (up to 3.6Gbps speeds) along with Bluetooth LE Audio.
As we mentioned in the beginning, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip will power most of the Android flagships that will launch next year. Qualcomm says we can expect to see the first smartphones featuring the new chipset by the end of this year itself. Xiaomi has already confirmed it will release the world's first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone. Motorola also has plans to announce a flagship in December as well.