Highlights From Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020


At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020, the company launched Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform to power the next generation of smartphones in 2021. The new platform brings major advancements in 5G wireless connectivity, AI, gaming, and computational photography.

Qualcomm kicked off its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit digital 2020 this year with a bang. At the two-day long virtual event, Qualcomm’s president Cristiano Amon along with global industry leaders, including SVP and GM mobile, compute, and infrastructure Alex Katouzian, and director of product management, Lekha Motiwala took the virtual stage to unveil the Snapdragon 888 mobile platform for next-generation of 5G smartphones. Amon even focused on advancements in AI, gaming, computational photography, and 5G technologies with an international expansion of 5G mmWave.

Qualcomm Unveiled Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform

Snapdragon 888 Chipset
QualcommOpens a new window

Qualcomm launched Snapdragon 888, its latest flagship processor, to power the next generation of Android smartphones. The new chipset is power-packed with the latest technologies, including 5G, AI, and image processing, which will take smartphone devices to a whole new level. The new chipset is expected to be available in Q1 2021 and will power Asus, BlackShark, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE smartphones.

Features of Snapdragon 888 Chipset

Let’s deep dive into the features of the new Snapdragon 888 chipset.

1. Improved 5G connectivity

Qualcomm has made considerable advancements in 5G connectivity and it plans to continue to do so with Snapdragon 888 chipset. The company has integrated its latest 5G modem directly into the chip — this saves OEMs extra space and cost for a second modem. The new 5nm X60 5G modem-RF system offers improved 5G speeds (up to 7.6 Gbps download and 3 Gbps upload) with 5G sub-6 carrier aggregation and mmWave. With the dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology, it will support superior coverage across all major networks. Moreover, the new chipset supports global 5G multi-SIM, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2. 

2. Power-packed with 6th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine

Qualcomm introduced the 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine to make next-gen smartphones more intelligent. The 6th gen Qualcomm AI engine features Hexagon 780 processor that delivers 3x performance per watt improvement and 2x compute capacity than the predecessor to deliver premium experiences, such as professional cameras, personal voice assistants, elite gaming, and high speed 5G connectivity. The new chipset can perform 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS) compared to its predecessor Snapdragon 856.

Additionally, the company launched a 2nd generation Qualcomm sensing hub, a low-power AI processor that will take 80% of the Hexagon processor’s workload and is ideal for use cases such as screen awake, lift and activity detection, and audio event detection. A new upgrade to the sensing hub is collecting data from all parts of the device, such as microphones, sensors, modem, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for contextual awareness.

The company also introduced a significant upgrade to its AI software, which provides developers direct access to Hexagon 780 to seamlessly run next-generation AI-powered apps.

Also Read: Intel Pins Hopes on FPGA Market With the Launch of eASIC N5X Chips

3. Premium mobile gaming experience

The new chipset takes gaming innovation to a whole new level. Snapdragon 888 is integrated with Qualcomm Snapdragon elite gaming to deliver an ultra-smooth gaming experience with a 144 Hz display and 144 frames per second (fps). Snapdragon Elite Gaming features Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU, which offers 35% faster graphics rendering and 20% better power efficiency than its predecessor. 

Also, the new Qualcomm Game Touch reduces touch latency by up to 20% and guarantees a better gaming experience in multiplayer games. Another exciting feature is the launch of variable rate shading (VRS) for mobile devices. With VRS, gamers can enjoy a faster and longer gaming experience at lower power and higher resolutions.

The company saidOpens a new window , “With the speeds and low latencies that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 deliver, elite gamers can unite or compete in real-time for unmatched global competition.”

Kyle Kiang, chief marketing officer, OnePlus, saidOpens a new window , “In collaboration with Epic Games, the OnePlus 8 Series became the first smartphones to deliver Fortnite at 90 fps, a groundbreaking mobile gaming achievement made possible by Qualcomm Snapdragon elite gaming.”

4. Professional quality camera with upgraded Qualcomm Spectra

The new Snapdragon 888 chipset will triple down on the future of computational photography. Thanks to the new Qualcomm Spectra 580 with a triple image signal processor (ISP). The improved ISP features triple camera concurrency and triple parallel processing to deliver next-generation imaging experiences. 

Photographers and video editors can leverage triple concurrency to capture 4K HDR videos from three different cameras simultaneously, three photos from different lenses at 28 megapixels (MP) with no shutter lag at the same time. The chipset also utilizes AI to refine autofocus, auto exposure, and auto white balance to take image quality to the next level. Meanwhile, the new chipset boasts an improved burst capture technology with a burst capture of 120 photos in one second. The company claims that it is 35% faster than its predecessor.

The latest Snapdragon 888 sets an innovation benchmark for the silicon industry. Qualcomm is giving tough competition to its competitors, and with prominent device OEMs supporting its new chipset, Qualcomm may dominate the lucrative Android smartphones industry in 2021. 

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