Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 is a fearsome 64-bit beast, eats Smaug for breakfast

Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon shapes the path for the next generation of mobile phones
Forget Smaug, the Snapdragon 810 is the more fearsome beast

Why should you care about yet another processor upgrade? Because Qualcomm’s new SoC (System on Chip), the Snapdragon 810, may pique your interest as it’s a lot more than just an incremental upgrade.

As expected, the Snapdragon 810 shows off the latest sheer processing power and optimised power consumption. The 810 has a big.LITTLE configuration, in which a pair of quad-core processors of different speeds (64-bit, Cortex A57 and Cortex A53) that work in tandem, with the more powerful and more power hungry chip coming into play when heavy lifting is needed.

The chips have been moved from a 28mm process to a 20mm process, which supposedly brings about power savings of up to 25 per cent; but it’s also possible that the extra headroom will be used to ramp up processing power. Qualcomm says the new Adreno 430 GPU is 30 per cent faster while consuming 20 per cent less energy.

Snapdragon 810 also has plenty of support for 4K resolution: it natively supports 4K resolution displays, plus you are able to stream the video wirelessly to a TV. The wireless element also receives an upgrade, with support for the new 802.11ad standard, which Qualcomm says can reach a maximum transfer rate of 4Gbps.

On the audio front, Dolby’s mobile Atmos sound tech also enters the party, bringing surround sound capabilities along.

Interestingly the new chip also supports Corephotonic’s dual lens system, which may well be the new standard in optical zoom on mobile devices – one camera carries a fixed focus lens while the other carries a wide angle lens. Snapdragon is critical in the process of combining images from both cameras to form an optically zoomed image that is sharper than what digital zoom can offer.

Last but not least, the new SOC will also have the ultimate security feature: a kill switch that locks the device remotely at hardware level, bypassing the operating system altogether, so that your data remains secure until you recover your phone.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if the handset makers will actually incorporate these features into their phones (it is their prerogative after all). But at least there’s something worth looking forward to for the next generation of flagship mobiles.

[Source: Engadget, Ars Technica]