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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 845; Features AI Platform

Qualcomm, one of the largest chipmakers in the world has unveiled its brand-new flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 845. The SD845 is an update to its current high-end chipset – the Snapdragon 835. The new chipset by the company is expected to be featured on all upcoming premium devices from various manufacturers. Let’s have a look at what this new piece of tech has to offer.

The Snapdragon 845 is built on top of a 10 nm FinFET process.  In simple words, the less nm a chipset is built upon, the better it is. The Snapdragon 835 was also built on top of the same process.

In terms of cores, the chipset will pack in eight of them – 4 Cortex-A75 clocked up to 2.8 GHz and 4 Cortex-A55 ticking up to 1.8 GHz. The clock speeds could vary depending on how manufacturing companies wish to tweak them. Smartphone makers can compromise on battery backup for enhanced performance by clocking their chipsets higher; or vice versa. The SD845 will be paired with the Adreno 630 GPU for enhanced graphics performance.

 

The upcoming processor’s major highlight would be its AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. With its counterparts like the Kirin 970 featured on the Honor View 10 packing in the Neural Processing Unit (NPU), it was expected from Qualcomm to do so as well. The Snapdragon 845 will feature its new Hexagon 685 DSP (digital signal processor). With this, the new processor by Qualcomm will open new opportunities for developers looking to integrate machine deep learning into their products. In other words, with smartphones coming with this processor, we can expect better personal assistants, improved camera features, and other software improvements.

Coming to the other major improvement with this chipset – the additional hardware it can handle. The Snapdragon 845 will now offer support for integrating up to a single 32-megapixel camera! Alternatively, smartphone makers could also fit their smartphones with two 16-megapixel sensors. The chipset will also be able to process 4K HDR clips recorded through these sensors.

On the display front, aligning with the new bezel-less displays requiring an 18:9 aspect ratio, the silicon chip by Qualcomm will support up to 2400 x 2400 pixels resolution. Interestingly, the chip can also support two 2K displays simultaneously.

The brand hasn’t left the VR (virtual reality) aspect untouched either. The chip also offers support for displays to have refresh rates of up to 120 FPS. Currently, the Razer Phone and the iPad Pro (with Pro Motion Display) are the only two mobile devices that support 120 FPS displays. Augmented reality is also something Qualcomm has covered with this SoC offering features like eye tracking, hand tracking, and multi-view rendering. In fact, the company has even called the Adreno 630 that comes bundled with the chipset as a ‘Visual Processing Subsystem’.

On the connectivity front, the SD845 will offer support for more 4G LTE bands and a maximum transfer speed of up to 1.2Gbps. It will also be backward compatible, so it has 2G and 3G support covered as well. With the upcoming chipset, the company is also aiming at charging up smartphone batteries even quicker with the Quick charge 4+ technology.

When compared with the current Snapdragon 835, the upcoming chipset will be 25% faster in terms of performance. Impressively, that wouldn’t be at the cost of power efficiency as the company claims that it will also be 30% more efficient.

As announced earlier by Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, one of the first flagships coming with the SD 845 will be the Xiaomi Mi 7. Rumours, however, also suggest that the Galaxy S9 by Samsung could be the first smartphone featuring the new processor. Watch this space as we bring you more news on this.

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