The wait is finally over and it is here. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 launched. The latest and greatest from Qualcomm in the form of a chipset is here and it is phenomenal. The performance, the efficiency, the GPU everything is better than before.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Launched
First of all, get ready to get confused. Qualcomm has decided to drop numbering from its Adreno GPU, Hexagon DSP, and other parts. However, getting to the chipset itself. The 8 Gen 1 on the surface gets Qualcomm’s first Armv9 CPU cores, a better and improved 18-bit triple image signal processor (ISP), and more improved machine learning. All these might sound like expected improvements for you, but that’s not all. There are lots of things to explore inside the SoC. Let’s take a deep dive, shall we?
This chip has the same triple ISP set-up but, with some improvements. We see an 18-bit image pipeline (upgraded from the previous 14-bit) so the phone can capture 18-bit RAW. This gives up to 3.2 gigapixels per second, up from 2.7 last-gen. Now the 108MP sensor will work way better as the shutter lag has been dropped to zero. The video capabilities still remain fairly similar to 8K, however, 8K 30fps HDR makes an appearance for the first time.
With all the increased numbers, the ISO will be way better, the noise will be very low and the accuracy will magically rise. We just need a great phone with a great camera to harness all the capabilities of this beast.
Something else they have introduced is that there’s a dedicated bokeh engine to apply soft blur to 4K video, improved AI based-face detection capabilities, an ultra-wide engine to handle everything “ultra-wide”.
On the other hand in machine learning, this has seen some improvements. Qualcomm has doubled the tensor acceleration performance inside its latest Hexagon DSP. With also being now up to 1.7x more power-efficient in some workloads.
The precision calculations have been so improved that workloads may see up to a 4x increase in performance through the combination of hardware and software improvements. Improved security, power management, time management and more will be observed.
CPU & GPU
Let’s come back to the base to talk about some processing units. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is powered by a single Cortex-X2 powerhouse CPU core clocked at a higher 3GHz than last year, two big Cortex-A710 cores at 2.5GHz, and four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 cores at a more modest 1.8GHz. Claims say that this processor is at a 20% performance improvement and 30% power saving compared to the CPU setup inside the previous generation Snapdragon 888.
Coming to the GPU, the chipset gets the latest Andreno GPU which shows, a 30% performance boost over its previous generation SoC and an equally newsworthy 25% power saving. When using the Vulkan API, the performance shoots through the roof with a 60% boost. It would prove to be a complete gamechanger for mobile gaming.
It would be interesting to see how the next-gen flagships harness the power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. What do you think about the chipset? Share your thoughts.