As expected, it is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that stands out as the star of the Snapdragon Summit event organized by Qualcomm from November 15 to 17. The SoC is of course the most high-end of the American, and promises always more power and intelligence dedicated to smartphones and tablets.
Still benefiting from TSMC-signed 4 nm engraving, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is equipped with eight Kryo CPU cores, including a Cortex-X3 clocked at 3.19 GHz intended to perform the most demanding tasks, two Cortex-A710 at 2.8 GHz and two A715s at 2.8 GHz geared towards performance and finally three 2 GHz cores reserved for the least complex processing. As always, Qualcomm promises a power gain, this time of 35% if we compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to Gen 1, but also increased energy efficiency: it would be 40% more economical. Hopefully the promise will be kept, as devices with the first-generation SoC struggle to offer long-lasting battery life. Artificial intelligence, the key word of the elements provided by Qualcomm, wants to be omnipresent: it should, among other features yet to be defined, allow instant translation of several languages at once, and even their automatic transcription.
In the same vein, the Adreno GPU – without number this year – promises both more speed, up to + 25%, and energy savings of 25% as well. It is compatible with Vulkan 1.3 and improves ray-tracing management, says Qualcomm.
Ever smarter functions
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also emphasizes different elements, starting with its ISP, that is to say its image processing chip. Still called Spectra, it promises a “cognitive” treatment. Understand by this that the chip will be able to recognize different types of scenes within the same photo and apply settings adapted to the elements that compose it. Other novelties are also to be noted, such as an improved Sensing Hub, promising for example an “always-sensing camera”, that is to say a camera operating in the background, and capable of detecting a QR code without same as app for that does not need to be opened.
At the hardware level, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 promises support for sensors up to 200 megapixels, and mentions in passing the optimization of the Isocell HP3 from Samsung, presented a few months ago. What to anticipate the integration of this sensor to the Galaxy S23 series, which should bet more on the Snapdragon platform than on the Korean Exynos. Let’s add that in terms of video capture, the new chipset from Qualcomm will support 10-bit 8K HDR recording.
Let’s end this overview with the connectivity supported by this Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It benefits from both compatibility with wifi 7, a first for mobile devices given the youth of the standard, but also from dual -Bluetooth. Qualcomm also mentions compatibility with two 5G SIMs active simultaneously.
The first smartphones expected by the end of December
A chip is of interest only if it is exploited by manufacturers of smartphones and tablets. Qualcomm is not stingy when it comes to mentioning the name of its partners, since it mentions Honor, Xiaomi / Redmi, Oppo, Motorola, OnePlus, Asus, Vivo or even Sony. The American, without giving further details, indicates that the first terminals equipped with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be presented by the end of the year, the X90 series from Vivo can already be mentioned. And as the mention of the Isocell HP3 underlines, we can also expect it to power Samsung’s future Galaxy S23s, which are expected to be presented in early 2023.