Chip designer Qualcomm has detailed its new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 hardware. Why is it important? Because it’ll power many upcoming 2022 flagship phones.
The new chipset will be inside the Xiaomi 12 handset first which will debut in the coming weeks. Oppo has also confirmed it will feature the hardware in its upcoming flagship that’ll probably be known as the Find X4 and it’ll also be in the Realme GT2 Pro it seems.
The new Moto Edge flagship will also boast Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – we’ll see the Moto Edge appear in the coming days, on 9 December. However, that device is probably for China-only, with global models appearing in 2022.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is extremely powerful and efficient thanks to a more efficient manufacturing process (4nm) and faster ARM Cortex X2-based Hexagon cores that can go to 3GHz plus support for the speedy LPDDR5X memory standard which is around 25% faster than the previous generation. There is also a 30% faster Adreno graphics processor.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 features Qualcomm’s latest-gen X65 modem which offers support for the fastest version of 5G known as mmWave. We’re still waiting for the faster mmWave standard to appear in the UK, though it’s already a (minor but speedy) part of 5G in the US. There’s also support for the fastest Wi-Fi 6E standard, too as well as Bluetooth 5.2.
The hardware supports cameras up to a huge 200 megapixels thanks to three 18-bit image processors (ISPs) to capture more detail. There’s also support for 8K HDR video, too as well as 4K internal and external display support.
On the megapixel front, it isn’t industry-leading – MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 supports up to 320 megapixels which is just plain crazy. However, because Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has three ISPs, it can capture stacks of data for each image. Qualcomm has also teamed up with Leica for a Leitz Look mode, which is basically an improved bokeh mode.
Qualcomm has also talked up the AI smarts of the new chipset, but this is an evolution of what has gone before.
The hardware was previously thought to be called Snapdragon 898, following up 2020’s Snapdragon 888. Qualcomm has clearly decided to stick with the ‘8’ and presumably, will simply update the nomenclature to ‘Gen 2’ next time around.
Qualcomm clearly sees handheld gaming as an area of opportunity and there’s new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 hardware based on the Gen 8 that could be used in gaming handhelds or gaming-orientated flagship phones.