After TechSummit's opening teaser, Qualcomm finally detailed its new high-end SoC, the Snapdragon 845, which brings a new architecture that allows it to land on 5 pillars. Thus, Qualcomm communicates on performance, user experience, artificial intelligence, security and connectivity. Everything is still engraved in 10nm LPP FinFET by Samsung.
Performance, Immersion and User Experience
As might be expected, the new Snapdragon 845 is the new flagship of the American foundry and it must be necessarily more powerful than its predecessor. Thus, with a new architecture based on a CPU Kryo 385 (ARM Cortex), Qualcomm promises significant differences since it speaks of a reduced energy consumption of the order of 30% in different areas such as the recording of videos, games or XR applications. For those who have not followed everything, at Qualcomm, we talk about XR applications, which includes applications Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or Reality Mixed. Graphic power, with an Adreno 630 GPU, we are promised an increase in performance of around 30%. But that's not all because the GPU is able to handle other functions such as multi-view rendering, IRL moves in a small area (6-DoF for Degrees of Freedom), IRL hand tracking, eye tracking, all essential in future XR applications
The SoC also includes a new ISP, the Spectra 280 which will allow future cameras to record videos in Ultra HD Premium, a first, or 64 times more shades of colors than the Snapdragon 835, the integration of the Active Depth Sensing technology that manages the depth, just like Apple's TrueTepth Camera technology. The Spectra 280 will also enable active noise reduction with snapshots of multiple snapshots for better blending, photo burst management up to 60fps in 16 Megapixels, slow down to 720p at 480fps and of course the photo assisted by Artificial Intelligence. And finally, we do not forget the support of Quick Charge 4+ which can charge the smartphone up to 50% in just 15 minutes. On the charger side, all Quick Charge 4+ compatible chargers are necessarily Power Delivery.
While other founders or manufacturers hardly communicate this year on artificial intelligence like Apple or Huawei, at Qualcomm, we are reminded that the Snapdragon 845 is already the third generation of mobile platform integrating AI. Moreover, at the American foundry, we speak of NPE (Neural Processing Engine) and not of NPU. It is a set of functions in the SoC that allows the development of AI. We are talking about performances three times higher than the previous generation. Well, yes, it's still unclear …
So, this AI wants to make your smartphone the personal assistant you've always dreamed of. It will allow you to better take photos and videos, improve your VR experience, offer a better experience in audio recognition with a microphone still active but always with better energy management. Of course, Qualcomm supports the Google TensorFlow or Caffe / Caffe2 frameworks from Facebook and the developers have at their disposal all the SDKs of the founder with now the support of TensorFlow Lite, the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) as well as the Google's new Android NN API
Security and Connectivity
In these safe times, the new SoC Snapdragon 845 obviously supports all the latest biometric recognition technologies such as fingerprints, iris, face recognition, voice recognition. Everything is always stored on the SoC and in no case in the cloud as some might fear and of course, it is optimized for our various uses such as payments, management of SIM cards, etc. This is done through a dedicated processor, the SPU or Secure Processing Unit.
And speaking of SIM cards, the new integrated modem X20 supports VoLTE (HD Voice via LTE) on both SIM cards at the same time, Gigabit LTE up to 1.2 Gbps is the 4G Cat18, the 11k / r / v technology that allows a network acquisition much faster and above all helps to better manage bottlenecks. Local side, multi-gigabit WiFi 11ad, 2 × 2 11ac with Dual Band Simultaneous technology support, Bluetooth 5 with the ability to manage multiple connections at the same time. So, as is currently the case with True Wireless headphones, no need to have one of the two headphones that relay between the smartphone and the second earpiece since the smartphone will connect to both earphones at the same time, allowing a better autonomy of future True Wireless headphones
The first devices under Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 should arrive in early 2018, without further details for now. Apart from the effects of announcement, difficult to get a real idea since all this lack of concrete cases, but it looks promising.