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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 845 SoC [UPD: Specification and features]

07 December 2017 2

UPDATE (December 7, 2017)

Recently, Qualcomm unveiled the flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC, a chipset ready to power high-end devices in 2018. The chipset is based on the same 10nm process just like its predecessor, the Snapdragon 835. However, the new chip brings much more to the table and that’s exactly what we are going to discuss here.

The architecture of the Snapdragon 845 brings new features like 4K HDR video capture on smartphones and improved AI processing. The chipset also features Adreno 630 graphics unit along with the company’s Spectra 280 signal processor (ISP), which allows for UHD Premium video capture at 60 frames per second. The Spectra ISP can collect more color by combining three methods – moving from 8-bit to 10-bit color, expanding its color gamut, and increasing luminance. Snapdragon 845 will also help provide a “motion compensated temporal filtering” as an image stabilization method, which compares a frame in a video to the frames prior and after to figure out where exactly the object should be. The ISP can capture Slow motion videos up to 480fps at 720p and images of 16-megapixel at 60fps with depth-sense.

Next up are the improvements in the artificial intelligence section. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 845 executes AI tasks three times faster than the SD 835. Developers can choose which cores to use for the tasks – either the Hexagon 685 digital signal processor (DSP), the GPU or the Kryo CPU. The new SoC will also support a number of AI frameworks like Google TenserFlow, Facebook Caffe 2 etc. The AI will also help users add artificial bokeh effect with a single camera and even recognize the face and unlock the device faster. Digital assistants will now be much faster and accurate, thanks to the new advancements.


In the security department, Qualcomm has added a “Secure Processing Unit” (SPU) to the new processor. The SPU has its own processor, random number generator, memory, and a power source o defend against hacking attacks. It provides a third level of security on top of two existing layers and helps protect biometric information. Thus, the fingerprint, iris, or face scan technology will run in a completely different environment. The SD 845 features the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, which helps increase speeds by up to 20% as compared to the X16 modem.

Thus, overall, the Snapdragon 845 is 25-30% faster than the predecessor and consumes 30% less power. The performance in the four “performance” cores can go up to 2.8Hz clock speed, whereas the four ‘efficiency” cores can reach 1.8GHz.


Original Post

Yesterday, at the 2017 Snapdragon Developer Conference in Maui, Hawaii, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 845, the company’s latest flagship chipset for mobile devices. The San Jose-based company mentioned that the new SoC is ready to power a majority of flagship devices in the upcoming year.

Without disclosing too much of the specs of the new chipset, Qualcomm SVP Alex Katouzian highlighted a few focuses of the chip, including the imaging/video processing, artificial intelligence (AI), VR/AR, and battery life. The Snapdragon 845 was three years in making and is designed to be highly secure, and to perform tasks in real-time language translation and high-speed wireless without affecting battery life.

CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, also joined the stage to announce that his company’s next premium handsets would feature the new chip. Dr. ES Jung, President of Samsung Foundry, also announce that being the long-time partner with the chipset manufacturer, Samsung would produce the first engineering samples based on the new 10nm LPE process. The Samsung Galaxy S9 could be amongst the first devices to sport the SD 845 chip. We can also expect the upcoming flagships from Google, Huawei, and other top manufacturers to rock the new SoC.


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