Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 introduced: faster, more efficient, with ray tracing and Wi-Fi 7

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 introduced: faster, more efficient, with ray tracing and Wi-Fi 7

Today, the Qualcomm team introduced its new flagship – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Performance has been improved on all fronts compared to the Gen 1 model – a feat we’ll see soon when the first Gen 2-based devices arrive.

This chip is officially known as the SM8550-AB and is manufactured on a 4nm node. Here are more details about its components.

CPUs and GPUs

Qualcomm has focused on improving power efficiency, but the new chip still brings noticeable speedups. The new Kryo CPU trio offers up to 35% higher performance with up to 40% higher efficiency.

Clock speeds are the same as the 8+ Gen 1, but the core composition isn’t. The single Kryo Prime core (based on Cortex-X3) runs at 3.2 GHz (3.1872 GHz to be exact) to deliver high single-threaded performance. However, this time it’s supported by four performance cores (instead of three) to better handle multithreaded workloads – these cores run at 2.8GHz. Finally, there are three (not four) 2.0GHz efficiency cores.

Gen 2 brings support for new, faster storage technologies. For RAM, it works with LP-DDR5X at up to 4,200 MHz (from LP-DDR5 at 3,200 MHz). For storage, it can use the new UFS 4.0 format (from UFS 3.1).

The latest Adreno GPU promises up to 25% higher performance with up to 45% higher energy efficiency. It also brings support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing to the Snapdragon platform. Now that ray tracing hardware is available for Android from the major chipset vendors, we may see mobile game developers embrace the new technology just as they did on PC and console. Also, this GPU is the first to support Vulkan 1.3 (along with OpenGL ES 3.2).

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 introduced: faster, more efficient, with ray tracing and Wi-Fi 7

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can drive on-device displays with QHD+ resolution at up to 144 Hz or 4K displays at up to 60 Hz. It also supports external displays up to 4K@60Hz (with 10-bit Rec. 2020 color gamut, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision to boot). Qualcomm has also finally enabled AV1 video decoding – streams up to 8K at 60fps (with HDR) are supported.

cameras

Qualcomm boasts that Sony sensors are optimized with Digital Overlap HDR (DOL-HDR) and Samsung’s 200MP HP3 to work with the Snapdragon ISP. Like its predecessor, the Gen 2 brings a triple 18-bit ISP that can handle up to three 36-megapixel cameras (30 fps) simultaneously, or go as high as 200 PM for a single camera. 108MP sensors are supported with no shutter lag.

For video, the chipset can record 8K HDR footage at 30fps (along with 64MP photos), 4K at 120fps, and also slow-motion video (720p at 960fps). It supports multiple HDR formats including HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision. With DOL sensors, up to four exposures can be recorded for each video frame.

connectivity

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is updated to the new Snapdragon X70 modem. It of course supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G. Peak downlink speeds are 10 Gbps, peak uplink speeds are 3.5 Gbps (similar to its predecessor).

This modem supports dual-SIM, dual-active (DSDA) operation, in which two 5G SIMs (or 5G+4G) are active at the same time.

Thanks to the new FastConnect 78000 system, local connectivity offers features of the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 standard (802.11be). The peak is 5.8 Gbps (vs. 3.6 Gbps on the previous chip). In addition to speed, the new standard also lowers latency (Qualcomm calls it “wire-like”).

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2's FastConnect 7800 system features low-latency Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s FastConnect 7800 system features low-latency Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth

As before, the FastConnect system features Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. With the latest Snapdragon Sound System, it can deliver 48kHz lossless music streaming as well as the lowest 48ms latency for gaming.

As for wired connectivity, there’s not much to report – the chip supports USB 3.1 with Quick Charge 5 (which is just a wrapper around the USB Power Delivery standard).

TO HAVE

The new Hexagon processor introduces support for a new INT4 format on a mobile Qualcomm chip for the first time. It promises 60% better performance per watt than previous techniques.

The Hexagon is also generally faster – Qualcomm claiming a 4.35x boost in AI performance. This power can be used to help the camera by recognizing which parts of the image are a face, hair, clothes, background, etc. and applying different processing to them.

Soon

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is being adopted by major Android manufacturers, Qualcomm lists the following in its press release: Asus ROG, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Red Magic, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, Meizu and ZTE .

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 introduced: faster, more efficient, with ray tracing and Wi-Fi 7

It goes on to say that the first Gen 2-based phones will be available before the end of this year, but doesn’t say which manufacturers will be the first. Samsung and the upcoming S23 series are not mentioned.

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