Qualcomm will no longer call their new chipsets in the hundreds category as part of a new marketing scheme!
After a long wait, and an event live yesterday, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has finally arrived! We now have complete details of what the chipset is
The chipset is the successor to the popular Snapdragon 888 flagship chip and is the first chipset to use this new naming scheme as part of a marketing strategy to make their chipsets simpler and easier to remember. This new naming scheme will apply to all other chips in the future and the hundreds digits would soon be abandoned.
The chipset is the first chip from Qualcomm that uses the Arm v9 architecture based on a 1-3-4 setup. Specifically, the new octa-core Kryo CPU will feature a single prime CPU, the Cortex-X2 clocked at 3GHz, three Cortex-A710 performance cores clocked at 2.5GHz, and finally, four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores clocked at 1.8GHz. The new chipset is also now based on a 4nm Samsung process, like what the rumour mill said.
The new processor also uses the newest Adreno GPU (that Qualcomm did not specify) offering 30% faster graphics rendering while also saving 25% more power compared to its predecessors. In addition, the chipset will offer a new GPU control panel that can be fine-tuned for games so that they run optimally.
On the connectivity side comes the Snapdragon X65 modem. First to appear on this chipset. It is Qualcomm’s fourth-generation 5G modem and promises improved connectivity speeds, especially for 5G. The company said that this modem can theoretically provide speeds up to 10Gbps. In addition to the already built-in 5G mmWave, the modem also has support for both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity up to 3.6Gbps through the FastConnect 6900 system, Bluetooth 5.2, Bluetooth LE Audio, as well as Snapdragon Sound that allows for AptX lossless wireless audio.
One last thing, the chipset also apparently supports a feature called “iSim” (surprisingly not an Apple product) that allows you to connect to cellular networks even without a physical SIM Card. Basically, it’s a virtual SIM Card.
In terms of camera processing, Qualcomm is labeling their new ISP (Image Signal Processor) package under a new brand called “Snapdragon Sight”. The new 18-bit Spectra ISP is a triple ISP system that can take 240 12mp photos in a single burst shot and hold 4096 times more data than previous iterations allowing for a more optimal dynamic range. It also natively supports 8K HDR as well as simultaneously shooting 64mp stills thanks to the increased 3.2 gigapixels per second throughput. If your phone supports it, the chipset natively supports 18-bit RAW as well as 8K video with HDR10+ support.
The chipset can take up to 200mp for a single photo and up to a single 108mp photo, a dual 64+36mp photo, or three 36mp photos with Zero Shutter lag. In addition to the gimmicky 8K@30fps capture, the new chipset supports 720p@960fps slow-mo and 4K@120fps video. For video playback and codecs, it supports 8K, 4K HDR up to 120fps, as well as H.265 and VP9 video decoders.
The new Spectra ISP also features a new dedicated bokeh engine and a new mega multi-frame engine for 5x better night shot output as well as enhanced AI algorithms. Expect that phones using this processor will have better quality images incomparable to phones released before (that still depends on the phone’s software though, not just hardware side).
On the AI side, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor has Qualcomm’s new 7th-gen AI engine with a new Hexagon processor that provides 4x faster AI performance in comparison to the Snapdragon 888 . It also has its “always-on camera”. It’s technically the fourth camera ISP which Qualcomm said could provide better security because the data taken by this always-on camera is stored on the chip’s secure enclave. Customers have the option to turn the always-on camera off, though that still depends on the handset.
In terms of charging, the new Qualcomm chipset has support for Quick Charge 5 and is touted by the company as the “world’s fastest commercial charging solution” that can theoretically charge an empty battery to full in ten minutes. This new charging technology can support 100W+ charging power thanks to the dual charge technology.
While Qualcomm has provided multiple new features, most of these are just extra gimmicks that may not be used in a practical sense (such as 8K video support and the 10Gbps 5G speed support). Still, it is nice for a company going the extra mile as in the future, these may become the norm.
If you’re wondering what would be the first phones to use this new chipset, rumors say it could be the Moto Edge 30 Ultra, Xiaomi 12 series, or the Realme GT 2 Pro. Other OEMs like Honor, Samsung, ZTE, Vivo, iQoo, and Poco will follow suit.