The next generation mobile platform that will power the flagship Android 2018 devices is here. Qualcomm unraveled the details of the Snapdragon 845, the latest flagship mobile CPU.
The focus is on connectivity, security, artificial intelligence, immersion and, of course, performance.
The Snapdragon 845 will provide a speed increase of approximately 25 to 30 percent. It is also 30 percent more efficient than the Snapdragon 835. It will have a similar octa-core architecture with four performance cores to handle high-end tasks that require more power and four efficiency cores that will perform lighter tasks that require less power.
The performance cores can synchronize up to 2.8 GHz while the efficiency cores reach up to 1.8 GHz.
As previously revealed, the chipset will have the same 10nm footprint as the Snapdragon 835, but the new second generation 10nmLPT architecture will present new features such as 4K Ultra HDR video capture at 60 fps and AI processing three times faster. There is also a 3MB system cache and, for the first time, it can be used by all components including the GPU, ISP, etc. to use it to achieve greater efficiency. The previous L2 cache was only restricted to the CPU in the Snapdragon 835.
The Snapdragon 845 features Kryo 385 cores redesigned from scratch and a newly designed Adreno 630 GPU. Changes in the GPU will provide a 30 percent increase in graphics with 30 percent more energy efficiency. The devices can record 4K UHD Premium video for up to four hours in a row.
The Snapdragon 845 platform features a new Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and a third generation Hexagon 685 digital signal processor (DSP) that can capture and render the world in high definition. Qualcomm said that the ISP will allow the capture of “Ultra HD Premium” video at 60 frames per second. The ISP can capture more volume of color than ever, which means that the nuances in the quality of the image will probably increase.
The Snapdragon 845 can take portraits with a single camera, just like Google Pixel 2. The Spectra 280 ISP will also extend the color gamut from Rec709 to Rec2020 and will go from 8 bits to 10 bits HDR. The ISP will use multi-frame noise reduction supported by algorithms to improve performance in low light. It will use 60 images of 16 megapixels per second to improve noise reduction.
In addition, the Snapdragon 845 allows a new type of image stabilization: temporary filtering compensated by movement, which will compare a frame in a video with the previous frames to provide a better outline of an object. The ISP will also offer slomo video capture at 480 fps at 720p, selective motion capture, “deep” portrait mode and more depth detection features.
XR: Reality Xtended
The Snapdragon 845 will also usher in the era of XR or Xtended Reality that will allow worldwide tracking, much like what HTC Vive VR headphones do. You can move freely through a room within your virtual environment.
The biggest improvement is found in the artificial intelligence capabilities of the chipset. This is the third generation IA mobile platform and the focus is on the main optimizations. The Snapdragon 845 will assign artificial intelligence tasks to different nuclei depending on the type of energy needed, with an increase of three times at the speed of the AI. Whether it’s the Kyro CPU, the Adreno GPU or the Hexagon DSP, developers can choose the components in which they want their AI to run.
For the first time, the Snapdragon 845 will house a “Secure Processing Unit”. It will be like a secure island inside a chipset with its own processor, memory, power and random number generator to defend against attacks. The SPU will host and process biometric information such as facial, voice and iris recognition data.
In terms of connectivity, the Snapdragon 845 will feature the X20 LTE modem, the second generation Gigagit LTE modem from Qualcomm that will allow a 20 percent increase in maximum and actual speeds over the Snapdragon X35 X16 modem. Ideally, you can Download an HD movie of two hours in two minutes through wireless fiber. The Snapdragon 845 also introduced advanced Bluetooth capabilities where the chipset can stream HD music or live audio to multiple devices. It will also reduce power consumption through wireless headphones by 50 percent.
The Snapdragon 845 looks promising as the next generation mobile platform for Android devices. Artificial intelligence is definitely at the center of everything with the new chipset increasingly aggressive in the distribution of tasks related to artificial intelligence in all modules to achieve greater efficiency. It also focuses on improving security through the Secure Processing Unit along with improved connectivity speeds.
The first phones with the Snapdragon 845 chipset will begin appearing in early 2018, Qualcomm said.