Yesterday, we got a teaser regarding the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform, and during the second and final day of the Snapdragon Tech Summit, we got the full details. Read on to learn more about the processor that will be powering 2021’s Android flagship phones.
If you thought your current flagship phone was smart, wait until you see the advancements that the Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform will be filled with! Among them are innovations in 5G, artificial intelligence, gaming, camera technologies, and even more intelligent personal assistants. As Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile, compute and infrastructure at Qualcomm Technologies, said, “The new flagship Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform will enable OEMs to further differentiate their devices and allows users to experience the latest cutting-edge mobile technologies.”
But what exactly does that mean?
One of the biggest differences between last year’s 865 chip and the new Snapdragon 888 is that Qualcomm has integrated the 3rd generation Snapdragon X60 5G Modem directly into the 888 chip, rather than keeping it a separate component. This should give phone makers a little extra room; hopefully, they’ll replace the unused space (however small) with larger batteries. The Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System will enable support for 5G sub-6 and mmWave carrier aggregation for 5G speeds up to 7.5 Gbps. Using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology, the Modem-RF System will support better coverage across virtually all major networks nationwide as well as worldwide. The Snapdragon 888 mobile platform also includes the recently debuted Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 Mobile Connectivity System, which supports fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps and the new 6 GHz capacity with Wi-Fi 6E.
The Snapdragon 888 5G SoC will include a completely re-designed 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine with the latest Qualcomm Hexagon 780 processor. This will enable the AI built into our smartphones to give us even more helpful personal voice assistants, better results from our photography, more immersive gaming, even faster connectivity, to name a few benefits. The Snapdragon 888 will focus on power efficiency and performance “with up to three times performance per watt improvement over the prior generation—all at an astonishing 26 TOPS.” The built-in 2nd generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub will integrate a dedicated low-power AI processor that makes things like screen awake, lift and activity detection, and audio event detection by using contextual awareness while combining data from 5G, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
Through its integration of the full Snapdragon Elite Gaming arsenal, Snapdragon 888, users will get ultra-smooth play with desktop level capabilities and the highest HDR quality graphics. Variable Rate Shading will be available on mobile devices for the first time due to the Snapdragon 888. VRS improves game rendering by up to 30% for immersive mobile gameplay while also improving power. The addition of Qualcomm Game Quick Touch will increase game responsiveness by up to 20% — with dramatically lowered touch latency — which should really be handy (and noticeable) in multiplayer games.
One of the most important features of any mobile phone is the camera — it can make or break whether people will like the smartphone (with caveats) or love it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Qualcomm continues to seek and offer ways to improve smartphone cameras. The Snapdragon 888 features the new Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP, which is the first Snapdragon to come with a triple Image Signal Processor (ISP); this will make smartphones capable of capturing images from three cameras simultaneously at up to 2.7 gigapixels per second, which is pretty much instantaneous. We’ll also be able to take 120fps burst snapshots (which is handy when taking ultra-fast high-resolution action shots) or capture three 4K HDR videos simultaneously with dramatic improvements to color, contrast, and detail. The Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP will also have the capability of taking brighter photos, even in near darkness.
Among the other advances made with the new Snapdragon 888 mobile platform is speed. The chip features the Arm Cortex-X1 based Qualcomm Kryo 680, which “generates up to a 25% uplift in overall CPU performance and allows top frequencies of up to 2.84GHz.” The Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU also gets its biggest boost yet with up to 35% faster graphics rendering than the previous generation. Both the CPU and GPU are built to sustain their higher levels of performance over long periods of time.
Chances are, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile platform will feature prominently in your next flagship smartphone purchase; now you’ll know a little bit more about what makes it so special.
You can watch Day two of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in its entirety here.