Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 is set to demolish mobile AI records with a huge leap to 26 TOPS, plus better 5G support and performance across the board.
Qualcomm has provided a glimpse of the upcoming Snapdragon 888 at its digital Tech Summit 2020 event, as well as what’s in store for 2021 smartphones in general. Being the latest and best mobile processor the chip manufacturer has to offer, it is certain to be faster and better than the previous generation Snapdragon 865. While the performance gains are as expected, it is the AI boost that brings the dragon-fire.
The Snapdragon 865 features four Cortex-A77 performance cores and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores and is made by TSMC using its 7-nanometer manufacturing process. Graphics are handled by an Adreno 650 and a Hexagon 698 powers digital signal processing. This provides a 25-percent performance increase over the Snapdragon 855, as well as 25-percent better efficiency. Being both faster and using less battery is the winning combination that placed this chip at the top of the list for the best mobile processor for Android devices throughout 2020.
With the introduction of the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm upgrades its 5G capability to the X60 modem, claiming to offer the best possible 5G speeds worldwide, and boasting that it’s the first in the world to allow aggregation of Sub-6, TDD and FDD networks. The X55 that was paired with the Snapdragon 865 supported 5G, but not the combination of these varied bands. Image processing power in the 865 reached as high as 2-gigapixels per second. This enabled up to 8K resolution video, 4K video in high dynamic-range and saw motion at 960 frames per second. Still images of up to 200-megapixels are also supported by the chip. In 2021, those capabilities will expand with the Snapdragon 888, which processes images at 2.7-gigapixels per second, representing a 37-percent improvement.
Smarter Snapdragon & Gameplay
A faster Snapdragon 888 capable of handling images better is to be expected, but more of a surprise is the new system-on-a-chip (SoC) includes artificial intelligence performance of 26 tera operations per second (TOPS). Qualcomm stated that this is its biggest leap forward in AI ever. For comparison, the Snapdragon 865 maxed out at 15 TOPS. A 73-percent increase in speed will enable a new generation of image and sound recognition, and processing for gaming, AR, and more. This is a fiery challenge to Apple, whose mobile SoC only provides 11 TOPS.
On the topic of gaming, the Snapdragon 865 was already among the best for mobile gaming devices, but the Snapdragon 888 promises a 35-percent improvement in this department as well. Games are a unique challenge for computers and phones, requiring a synergistic blend of nearly every component for best performance. 5G will allow faster mobile networking and lower latency, the improved CPU and GPU will provide higher frame rates and better graphics, while the AI can be used in various ways, perhaps making the NPC’s smarter or enhancing graphics intelligently. All of these components come together within Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 to spring further than the previous smartphone SoC ever could.
Next: Snapdragon 888 Is Here & Ready To Fuel The 2021 Android Mobile Experience
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