Qualcomm has announced its next flagship processor for smartphones. The new Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform has a number of important enhancements, as you would expect. At the time of writing we have only had the headlining announcements from the Snapdragon Summit so in depth info such as block diagrams and so on are yet to appear. Most of the information revealed at the summit thus far has skirted around the CPU tech details, focussing instead on things like 5G, AI engine, ISP, and a little about the GPU capabilities.
Before getting into the technicalities, some are surprised at the version number of the new chip. If it followed the recent naming conventions we would be reporting upon the SD875 today but, no its the SD888. Some reports are tying this odd numerical jump to 888 being a particularly lucky number in Chinese culture, and Qualcomm looking to cosy up to Chinese tech partners now that the Trump era is all but over. Lots of smartphone partners are on board with adopting the SD888 already – at least 14 OEMs.
The new flagship SoC from Qualcomm is built on TSMC's 5nm process, like the Apple A14 and M1 processors. It integrates the following key components:
- The 3rd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System. This fully integrated solution provides global compatibility by offering mmWave and sub-6 across all major bands worldwide. Furthermore, it supports 5G carrier aggregation, global multi-SIM, stand alone, non-stand alone, and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.
- Qualcomm's 6th gen AI Engine is present too. It runs on a completely redesigned Qualcomm Hexagon processor t deliver 26TOPS. The AI offering is further enhanced by the 2nd generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub.
- A faster gigapixel speed Qualcomm Spectra ISP is in the SoC for snappy photo and video processing. Qualcomm says this component is roughly 35 per cent faster than its predecessor and can enable 12MP imagery capture at up to 120fps.
- Lastly, Qualcomm says that the gaming prowess of the new SD888 has been significantly upgraded thanks to a new Adreno GPU (no code number or other tech details given). Alongside Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming features the new GPU will power games at up to 144fps.
As mentioned in the intro, there is little or no CPU information from the Snapdragon Summit thus far. I'll see if any news coming out about that aspect of the SD888 warrants its own story or perhaps I'll just update this one with a block diagram and video...
Qualcomm has now revealed the CPU and GPU specs and performance uplift claims.
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