Qualcomm has unveiled its new high-end chip for mobiles: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This SoC will succeed the Snapdragon 888 and will equip the flagship smartphones of 2022, starting with the Xiaomi 12. It brings many new features in addition to a extra power.
Each December, Qualcomm holds its annual conference in Hawaii, the Snapdragon Tech Summit. The brand presents its new high-end processor dedicated to the mobile market, the SoC which equips the flagship smartphones of the following year. In 2020 we got the Snapdragon 888 and this year, place in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
The first notable change to this new processor is in its name. Qualcomm indeed abandons the three-digit denomination for a new one. As rumors pointed to the name Snapdragon 898, it will eventually be Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, less practical to say and write, but more durable for the future.
We should expect to see this name regularly in 2022, since this SoC will equip many premium smartphones. The first of them will be the Xiaomi 12. The Chinese brand has already confirmed this. Samsung, OnePlus, Sony, Vivo, Asus… all these manufacturers should use it in the coming months.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a mobile processor that relies on power
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 brings more power compared to the Snapdragon 888, of course, but also improvements in photo, AI, security or game management. When it comes to pure specs, this new processor is engraved in 4 nm, against a 5 nm engraving for the Snapdragon 888. It uses the latest Armv9 architecture from ARM and is based on an octo-core Cortex-X2 (Kryo) CPU running at 3 Ghz. It is accompanied by an Adreno GPU.
For the CPU, Qualcomm promises 20% more computing power compared to the previous processor. Regarding the graphics, the manufacturer speaks of an improvement of up to 30%. Enough to improve the gaming part, without revolutionizing it. But you know, pure potency actually has little impact in everyday life. The interest of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 lies elsewhere.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is equipped a Snadpragon X65 modem which promises improvements in 5G compatibility. The manufacturer thus indicates that its SoC will be able to ensure a download speed of up to 10 Gb / s. Connectivity is not improved than in 5G, since this SoC is also compatible with WiFi 6 and 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and Bluetooth LE audio for better sound through headphones.
Qualcomm wants to improve the photo
The photo part is an important issue for the latest SoCs. The Google Tensor of the Pixel 6 is also betting a lot on it. Qualcomm does not intend to be left behind and announces that its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 greatly improves this aspect with an 18-bit ISP to capture more detail. What’s more, it will be possible to film in 8K HDR10 +. We can also mention better management of night mode and more efficient processing AI (which manages auto-focus or brightness, for example). Of course, this will be coupled with the software of the manufacturers and with the appropriate sensors. Moreover, this Gen 1 will be able to support a sensor of up to 200 megapixels.
Other improvements are also on the menu, particularly with regard to data security, which will be reinforced. The SoC can also support a QHD + display at 144 Hz and wants to be less energy intensive. In short, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 does not reinvent the wheel but improves by small touches what was already done with the Snapdragon 888. Qualcomm is playing big in this year 2022, since third-party manufacturers, like MediaTek, continue to seduce manufacturers. In addition, some manufacturers, such as Google, have decided to design their SoCs themselves.
In any case, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be one of the flagship processors of the year 2022.