Qualcomm has announced the expansion of its latest smartphone platform with the latest Snapdragon 845 processor. The new chipset have several improvements on board including new processing technology for improved modem.
Qualcomm’s press release is heavily focused on multimedia, virtual reality and security but this is not done yet, it has lots of more than that, lets dive deeper into the chip to know the full features of the upcoming next year flagship.
Collection of processing upgrades
The Snapdragon 845 features a new Kryo 385 CPU architecture with an advanced Adreno 630 GPU. The chip is built on Samsung’s 10nm LPP FinFET technology; the 2nd Generation 10nm node offers 10-percent elevated performance and 15% lower power consumption compared to the first generation chip.
As seen on last year, the Kryo 385 is built on Arm Cortex technology and Qualcomm promised that the new off-the-shelf design from Arm offers up to a 25 performance uplift compared with the last year’s Snapdragon 835.
The new design seems to be based on ARM’s DynamIQ technology and latest Cortex-A75 and A55 CPU designs. The newly introduced chipset offers 2MB L3 cache to improve the task and memory sharing capabilities between different core types in the shared cluster.
The four performance cores clocks up to 2.8 GHz which can be paired with four power efficient cores clocks up to 1.7 GHz. All these sits in same cluster to offer superior task scheduling and awareness of saving energy and lower memory latency capabilities.
The new Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem is present on the latest offering of Qualcomm. According to Qualcomm, there’s a promised 30% improvement in graphics and video rendering and reduction in power consumption compared to the Adreno 540.
The latest chipset offers great improvements as Qualcomm make a big take on Augmented and Virtual Reality with the Snapdragon 845. The Adreno 630 supports displays of up to 2K x 2K with a resolution of up to 120 Hz for a crisp and fluid display.
Foveated rendering, which lessen rendering requirements by reducing the resolution in your peripheral visualization, is now supported via Adreno foveation. It supports tile rendering, eye tracking, multiView rendering and fine grain preemption. The Snapdragon 845 is the first platform to facilitate room-scale 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) of movement along with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) capabilities which can enable features such as wall-collision detection.
Optimized for AI
Qualcomm has confirmed that the Snapdragon 845 doesn’t have integrated AI processor, something that Apple and Huawei are incorporating in recent times. Instead, Qualcomm is refining the algorithms two times better to power up the machine learning applications. With this incorporation, the Snapdragon 845 gets a 3x increase in AI operations as compared to the Snapdragon 835.
With a combination of CPU and GPU improvements the Snapdragon 845 also comprise a 3rd Gen Vector DSP with HVX known as the Hexagon 685 to optimize the AI and imaging workloads.
Qualcomm also confirms the presence of its onboard Aqstic audio codec, in this case the WCD9341. This component offers low power monitoring for keyword detection and processing to help power virtual assistants. It also boasts 130 dB of dynamic range, -109 dB THD+N, and supports 32-bit / 384 kHz PCM and DSD64/128 music playback support for audiophiles.
The Snapdragon 845 is also yet further handy for developers keen to get their machine learning applications up and running on the platform. The Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK now supports TensorFlow Lite and the Open Neural Network Exchange, in accumulation of the stock TensorFlow and Facebook’s Caffe/Caffe2. The Snapdragon 845 also supports Google’s Android Nueral Networks API for use with Android 8.1.
Best for Multimedia
For the multimedia, Qualcomm’s latest Spectra image signal processor is totally rebuilt and upgraded from the ground up. The new Spectra 280 ISP introduces several new video capture options including 480 FPS slow motion 720p video, 60 fps video recording at up to 16 megapixels of resolution, and capable to capture 64x more high-dynamic range (HDR) color information.
The component can also handle power efficient multi-frame noise reduction, accelerated software image stabilization, and motion compensated temporal filtering, compared to others, helps to take the load of the CPU. 10-bit HDR support remains in place, complete with support for the Rec. 2020 gamut for 4K/Ultra HD content that pops off the screen.
To help download and share high quality content, the Snapdragon 845 possesses an improved Wi-Fi modem and the company’s X20 LTE modem for faster speeds than the gigabit. The X20 LTE modem is Category 18 LTE compliant and offers up to 1.2 Gbps downloads and 150 Mbps uploads rate. The modem also supports License Assisted Access (LAA) for unlicensed spectrum, 5x carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO on up to 3 carriers, and dual SIM-dual VoLTE. For the WiFi, there’s diversity-enhanced 60 GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi for extra strong multi-gigabit exposure at speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. There’s also integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi with advanced features that provide up to a 16x faster connection setup, simultaneous dual-band support, and 30 percent more capacity utilization. Now, downloading and uploading content shouldn’t be a headache for users.
Optimized for Extra Security
In the implementation of security features, Snapdragon 845 has a new integrated hardware security subsystem called the Secure Processing Unit (SPU).The dedicated silicon chip is used as a vault to protect any saved biometric information such as fingerprints, iris or face scans which is built on Qualcomm’s existing security software. The hardware can also be used for storing user and application security keys used for encryption to keep them safe from any security beach from both apps and OS level threats. This should keep your financial transactions and sensitive data more secure as our phones are containing plenty of sensitive data and financial transactions well, it’s a much needed feature for users to protect their confidential data and transactions.
Fast Charging, the chip has been upgraded to Quick Charge 4+ which is designed to keep the devices cooler and charges the devices 15% more efficiently and it is 15% faster than the Quick Charge 4 technology standard. Ultimately, Bluetooth 5 is now supported to pair the latest peripherals, along with aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth codec support for audiophiles who have gone wireless.
According to Qualcomm, they have made some proprietary enhancements in the Bluetooth 5 hardware to enable the support for ultra-low power wireless earbud support and direct audio broadcast to multiple devices.
All set for 2018
If you are a Qualcomm follower and loves the Snapdragon than the Snapdragon 845 also feels familiar to you. The chip performance is improved to 25-30% which cannot be ignored but the Qualcomm’s biggest strength is to provide a SoC which is optimized for delighting the smartphone owners.
The Snapdragon 845 is equipped and optimized to handle various processing requirements of machine learning applications along with the capabilities to support virtual and mixed reality, with support of pre-5G data connectivity to capture and stream high quality multimedia.
The Snapdragon 845 is currently tested by the corporate customers and is expected to be seen on the commercial devices of early 2018. Xiaomi has already confirmed to use the SD 845 on their next flagship and very soon we will hear more new announcements from the giants such as Samsung, LG, Oneplus and others from following the same suite.
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