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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: 5 key features

Snapdragon has announced four chipsets during its Snapdragon Summit 2022. These new chips include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — the company’s flagship for phones coming next year, a chipset for AR glasses called AR2 Gen 1 and two sound platforms named S3 and S5.

The new chips are expected to arrive in consumer devices starting with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which Qualcomm anticipates we can see in by the end of 2022 and the remaining three coming in devices next year. 

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Qualcomm’s next flagship chipset

The first announcement was the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the company’s flagship smartphone SoC that will power next year’s Android flagships. There are improvements across the board regarding AI and camera performance and better connectivity with WiFi 7 and dual Bluetooth support. 

Camera performance will also improve thanks to the Cognitive ISP and out-of-the-box support for new image sensors. The upgraded Adreno GPU offers up to 25% faster performance with up to 40% improvement in efficiency. Last but not least, Qualcomm is also claiming that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is their most secure chip ever. 

The next step for smartphone gaming?

The company’s latest flagship supports a suite of features Qualcomm calls “Elite Gaming” features. These include real-time hardware accelerated ray-tracing, an upgraded GPU providing the aforementioned performance and efficiency improvements, as well as support for Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans framework. 

Faster, more capable AI performance

Qualcomm is promising AI improvements like faster natural language processing with multi-language translation and INT4 support thanks to the upgraded Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, which features a new, upgraded architecture, micro tile inferencing and a bigger tensor accelerator. 

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: 5 key features
The new chip brings improvements across the board. | Source: Qualcomm

The new chip is at least 4.35 times faster in AI performance and promises a 60% performance/watt improvement rate for sustained AI-based loads thanks to dual AI processors. The Qualcomm AI Stack could also give developers additional features and tools, including the upcoming Qualcomm AI Studio. 

Snapdragon Sight to see better pictures

Thanks to the performance upgrades in the AI department, the new chip is better at image processing as well. It now uses semantic segmentation to enhance photos and videos in real-time with contextual awareness of faces, facial features, hair, clothes, skies and more to optimise them individually. 

The chip is also tuned to support newer sensors, including the Samsung ISOCELL HP3, the first 200MP sensor to be optimised for the chip. There’s support for the AV1 codec and video playback up to 8K at 60FPS.

Better Connectivity and sound

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also comes with the X70 5G modem, announced earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress. The chipset works with the AI processor to offer better 5G speeds, power efficiency, and coverage latency. You can run two 5G SIMs simultaneously or use the WiFi 7 for wireless networks. There’s also dual-Bluetooth connectivity. 

The chip also offers better audio output with support for spatial audio, 48kHz lossless streaming and dynamic head tracking, all working at a latency of just 48ms. There’s also a built-in voice backchannel for communications during games. 

Enhanced security features

Last but not least, the chipset comes with “the latest in isolation, cryptography, key management, attestation, and more” as the company claims. Snapdragon did not shed much light on how exactly the chipset achieves this, but the upgrades should make it one of the more secure SoCs available now. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 specs

Here are the key specs of Qualcomm’s upcoming SoC. 

SpecificationsSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 (SM8550)
Manufacturing Process4nm TSMC
CPU1 x Kryo (ARM Cortex-X3-based) Prime core @ 3.19GHz, 1MB L2 cache
2 x Kryo (ARM Cortex A715-based) Performance cores @ 2.8GHz
2 x Kryo (ARM Cortex A710-based) Performance cores @ 2.8GHz
3 x Kryo Efficiency cores @ 2.0GHz
ARM Cortex v9
8MB L3 cache
GPUUpgraded Adreno GPU
Vulkan 1.3 support
Support for Elite Gaming features
Adreno Frame Motion Engine
Snapdragon Shadow Denoiser
Supported Codecs: H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP8, VP9, 4K HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, AV1
MemoryLPDDR5X @ 4200MHz, 16GB
DisplayOLED ageing compensation built-in
Max on-device display: 4K at 60Hz or QHD+ at 144Hz
Max external display: 4K at 60Hz with 10-bit colour, HDR10, HDR10+, HDR vivid and Dolby Vision
AIHexagon DSP
Dual AI processors
Always-sensing cameras
ISPUp to 200MP sensors supported
Triple 18-bit Spectra ISP
Single Camera: Up to 108MP
Dual Camera: Up to 64MP + 36MP
Triple Camera: Up to 36MP
Video capture at 8K 30FPS, slow motion up to 720p at 960FPS.
HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, HEVC supported
ConnectivityWiFi: Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 with support for WiF7, WiFi 6E, WiFi 6 at 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz
Bluetooth: Bluetooth v5.3, aptX Voice, aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, and LE audio
ModemSnapdragon X70 5G modem
10Gbps downlink
3.5Gbps uplink
Support for mmWave and sub-6GHz
ChargingQualcomm Quick Charge 5

Qualcomm claims that major smartphone OEMs will adopt the new chip and brands around the world including ASUS ROG, HONOR, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Red Magic, Redmi, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, XINGJI/MEIZU, and ZTE with commercial devices expected to arrive by the end of 2022. 

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