The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been the talk of the town for ages and now it’s finally official. Qualcomm’s newest flagship chipset for Android phones is based on Samsung’s 4nm fabrication process and brings ARM’s new ARMv9 CPU architecture.
CPU & GPU
The CPU has the same tri cluster configuration (1+3+4) as previous generations but it is now based on ARMv9. The prime CPU core, the Cortex X2 will be clocked at 3.0GHz with three Cortex-A710 performance cores at 2.5GHz and four power-efficiency cores (cortex A510) at 1.8GHz. Aside from CPU frequency changes, the newer architecture means a more power-efficient chip.
The new CPU is 20% faster and 30% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 888.
Qualcomm has not revealed the GPU’s name, but the new Adreno is promised to be 30% faster with 25% more power efficiency thanks to a new architecture. Qualcomm has also equipped it with new gaming features such as The Adreno Frame Motion Engine, desktop-class volumetric lightning, and Variable Rate Shading Pro.
It’ll be interesting to see how it competes with Samsung’s upcoming AMD-powered mobile GPU.
X65 5G Modem
The X65 5G modem is integrated into the SoC with support for both sub-6 and mmWave bands with up to 10 Gbps peak download speeds on paper. It also brings carrier aggregation for the first time, meaning more consistent speeds using mobile data. There is also WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, and several improvements to Bluetooth connectivity.
Snapdragon Sight (ISP)
The camera hardware on the chip has improved so much that it has received its own branding, the Snapdragon Sight. The new ISP is able to process a whopping 3.2 gigapixels per second. This means that it can capture 240 12MP shots in a second and 30 108MP shots in a second. Let that sink in for a moment.
The maximum video recording resolution remains at 8K 30 FPS, but now it has support for HDR10 and 10+ with electronic image stabilization (EIS) at the same time. It will also let you capture 64MP shots while recording 8K 30 FPS videos. Bokeh effect for 4K videos has been added as well.
The Mega Multi Frame Engine improves night mode photography and Video Super-Resolution will enhance digital zoom on smartphones. AI capabilities have improved to a point where the chip can now track 300 different facial landmarks. There is a third ISP on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 as well that enables Always-On camera features for better face unlocking and other features.
The AI engine can now handle 4x more work with 70% more power efficiency.
The security chip has been improved by the introduction of the Trust Management Engine which will sit below other security systems onboard. This way, it will not be compromised even if the security systems are breached.
The Always On camera feature from Snapdragon Sight raises security concerns but this is handled well by the new security chip. The chip ensures that no data from the ISP will leave the device. OEMs can also choose to enable or disable the always-on camera feature.
The first smartphones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 are set to launch later this month.