During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021, Qualcomm introduced its latest premium 5G mobile platform, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The new premium chipset comes with more advanced and improved 5G performance, AI, gaming, camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies.
The new flagship chipset is built on the 4nm technology, and it provides better 5G performance, with up to 10 Gigabit download speeds, breathtaking and desktop-like graphics performance, more security, and better camera processing technology.
Qualcomm also partnered up with Google to collaborate on Neural Articherture Search (NAS) to enable companies to create and optimize AI models automatically, rather than manually. The new technology will be available first in the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC.
“Google Cloud’s Vertex AI NAS will give Qualcomm Technologies the ability to bring high accuracy AI with low latency to low - power devices such as IoT, medical imagery, automobile and mobile devices, whilst ensuring memory and energy efficiency," said June Yang, vice president of Cloud AI and Industry Solutions at Google Cloud. “With this collaboration Qualcomm Technologies will now be able to build and optimize new AI models in weeks rather than months and we’re thrilled at the impact this will have on people using Snapdragon - powered devices.”
Qualcomm also broke down the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s new flagship features into a few key categories:
The new chipset comes with the 4th generation Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System, which offers a more advanced 5G performance than previous generations. The new modem allows 10 Gigabit download speeds, which has been unheard of up until now. Snapdragon 8 also features a Qualcomm Fast Connect 6900 Mobile Connectivity System that supports fast Wi-Fi speeds up to 3.6 Gbps over Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. Downloading large games and apps is blazing fast.
Snapdragon Sight Technology includes the first 18-bit ISP ever created for mobiles, and it can capture over 4000x more camera data than its predecessor for extreme dynamic range, color, and sharpness at speeds up to 3.2 gigapixels per second. The Snapdragon 8 is also the first mobile platform to be able to record 8K HDR video in HDR10+ format. There’s also a Bokeh Engine that can add new beautiful soft backgrounds to videos – much like Portrait Mode for images, it’s now also available for video. The new SoC also comes with four separate ISP, the new Always-On ISP that allows the camera to run more efficiently, without consuming too much battery of a device.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Snapdragon 8 comes with the 7th Gen Qualcomm Ai Engine. It’s powered by the ultra-high performance and efficient Qualcomm Hexagon processor that feature a 2x faster tensor accelerator and 2x larger shared memory, compared to the last generation. What all of this means is that users will be able to capture professional-quality images thanks to the new integrated Leica Leitz Look filters, recreating the legendary bokeh effect.
It also comes with new AI-based natural language processing from Hugging Face that can intelligently serve as a personal assistant by analyzing notifications. Sonde Health is a similar AI processing unit that can analyze a user’s vocal patterns to determine if the person is at risk for certain health conditions, such as asthma, depression, and even COVID-19. All of this new AI technology is powered by the 3rd Gen Qualcomm Sensing Hub that can process more data streams.
The Snapdragon 8 offers the most smooth and responsive gaming experience to this date on a mobile device. It supports HDR scenes at the highest quality and desktop-level capabilities that are mobile firsts. The new Adreno GPU provides a 30% boost in graphics rendering, and 25% improvement in power savings compared to the previous generation. The platform also has an Adreno Frame Motion Engine that can generate twice as many frames, while maintaining the same power consumption.
Variable Rate Shading Pro will allow developers to fine-tune games even further, improving the overall gaming performance. Desktop-level Volumetric renderings bring realistic fog and fog, as well as particle effects that are all optimized on mobile, offering a more realistic effect.
The new chip comes with Bluetooth 5.2 and Snapdragon Sound Technology that features the aptX Lossless technology. It’s also the first platform to support the all-new LE audio features such as broadcast audio, stereo recording, and voice back-channel for gaming.
Snapdragon 8 features vault-like security to keep private and confidential information safe and protected. It features a Trust Management Engine to provide even more security to apps. It’s also the world’s first mobile platform to feature Android Ready SE, the new standard that can store driver’s licenses, ID cards, and more.
The chip also has the Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit for iSIM, which is an integrated SIM card that users can easily and securely connect to a cellular network, without having a physical SIM card inserted into devices.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 availability and supported brands
Qualcomm also publicly stated that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be adopted by global OEMs from brands such as Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Redmi, SHARP, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. New flagship devices are expected to launch using the new Snapdragon Soc by the end of 2021.