Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is the Next-Gen Flagship Mobile Processor
Qualcomm has unveiled the next flagship mobile processor or mobile platform (as Qualcomm likes to describe it), yesterday at an event in Hawaii (United States). At the “Snapdragon Technology Summit,” Qualcomm has introduced the new SOC (System-on-Chip), Snapdragon 845 which will be used in several Android Flagship phones in the coming year.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is the successor to the Snapdragon 835 which is the flagship mobile processor used in several high-end phones this year like Samsung S8, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, 5T, LG V30 and Xiaomi Mi 6. Moreover, the Snapdragon 835 is the successor to the Snapdragon 821 and Snapdragon 820 that was used in smartphones like OnePlus 3T, Google Pixel, Samsung S7, LG G6, etc.
Qualcomm makes the best high-end processors for Android phones, and if you are planning to buy a flagship next year, you may end up buying a phone powered by Snapdragon 845. Apart from Qualcomm, the Huawei (Kirin Series) and Samsung Exynos processors are the only top performance mobile processors for Android Phones. MediaTek has not been able to match the pace of any of these top mobile processor manufacturers.
I am not talking about Apple here, as the new A11 Bionz chip powering the latest iPhone X is a monster, which has unparalleled performance compared to anything made by above companies.
Before we dive into the detailed specs and comparison of these chipsets, Qualcomm also showcased new Windows 10 laptops running on the Snapdragon 835 processor. It is quite likely that the SD 845 will be used in many new laptops next year. Intel so far has a monopoly in the laptop processor market and will be good to see some competition.
Specifications and Featured – Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Processor
The Snapdragon 845 is an Octa-Core processor, which comes with the ARM’s new Cortex-A75 and Cortex A55 cores. The mobile processor is based on the 10 Nm process, similar to the Snapdragon 835; there is no dye shrink this year for the SD 845.
The Kryo 385 CPU used in the SD 845 is based on the Cortex Cores (4 Power Cores) clocked at 2.8 GHz, and four energy efficient cores clocked at 1.8 GHz. Notably, Qualcomm has increased the peak clock speed by 19% when compared to Snapdragon 835 ( 2.45 GHz).
25% Faster Compared to SD 835
Qualcomm promises a 25% boost in CPU performance with these new Cortex Cores and faster clock speed. Additionally, they have increased the size of the Cache, and are using 2 MB of L3 and 3MB of system Cache. One of the main reasons for Apple A11 to be way faster compared to any mobile processor is the use of larger cache, that’s probably Qualcomm wants to ape in the new chipset.
The Snapdragon 845 comes with a new GPU – Adreno 630. The Adreno 630 promises 30% faster graphics performance, and it is also 30% more energy efficient compared to the Adreno 540 GPU used in the Snapdragon 835.
Such large performance increase is incredible for the advancement of mobile computing and looks exciting from a consumer perspective, who will be able to do a lot more with the future mobile devices.
The processor will be able to support 120Hz displays with a 2X*2X resolution that will pave the way for very high resolution, and faster refresh rate displays possible for the future phones.
Qualcomm has also added some more nifty features to the Snapdragon 845 like eye tracking, multiview rendering ( meant for VR consumption), 6DOF (six degrees of freedom to track controller and headsets for VR).
Qualcomm is betting big on the AR/VR applications and has even named their GPU as “Visual Processing unit.” Qualcomm is in the habit of creating new jargons like they created Snapdragon Mobile Platform in place of simply calling it as Snapdragon Processor.
Improved Camera Capabilities
The SD 845 comes with a Qualcomm Hexagon 685 DSP which is capable of on-device AI processing for tasks like images, voice, and gaming. It also comes with a new ISP called spectra 280 which can process 4K videos at 60 FPS at 10 Bit color depth (HDR). The ISP also allows capturing of up to 60 images per second that is incredible for any smartphone camera. The ISP can support up to 16 Megapixel Dual Cameras or a 32 MP single camera.
Faster Data Speeds
Qualcomm has also added a Secure processing unit for saving biometric and other personal data on the chipset. The LTE X20 modem used in the SD 845 provides up to 20% faster data speeds (peak download speed of 1.2 GBPS and upload speed of 150 MBPS) compared to the last gen LTE X16 modem. Also, the chipset comes with a new WIFI standard – 802.11 ad which is a short-range data transfer technology that promises up to 4.6 Gbps transfer rates. This is unbelievably fast wireless data transfer technology.
The SD 845 also support the latest standard in Bluetooth technology – Bluetooth 5.0 (saves battery life of Bluetooth earphones by up to 50%). It also has support for Quick Charge 4.0 and 4+, which is similar to the Snapdragon 835.
The future Qualcomm Chipset looks exciting and will be one of the most powerful processors for the coming year.
Let’s have a Quicklook at what has changed in terms of specs compared to the Snapdragon 835 and Snapdragon 821.
Comparison Snapdragon 845 Vs SD 835 Vs SD 821
|Specifications for the chipset||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 821|
|Processing Technology||10 nm process, 64 Bit||10 nm process, 64 Bit||14 nm process, 64 Bit|
|Number Of CPU Cores||8 Kryo Cores (Octa -Core)||8 Kryo Cores (Octa -Core)||4 Kryo Cores (Quad-Core)|
|Performance Cores||4x cores||4x cores||2x cores|
|Energy Saving Cores||4x cores||4x cores||2x cores|
|Clocked speed of Performance Core||Up to 2.8 GHz||Up to 2.45 GHz||Up to 2.35 GHz|
|Clock Speed Energy Efficient Cores||Up to 1.8 GHz||Up to 1.9 GHz||Up to 1.6 GHz|
|RAM Support||Dual-channel LPDDR4X||Dual-channel LPDDR4X||Dual-channel LPDDR4|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 540||Adreno 530|
|Camera Support||Upto 32 MP Single||Upto 32 MP Single||Upto 28 MP Single|
|Quick Charge Technology||Quick Charge 4.0 & 4.0 Plus||Quick Charge 4.0 & 4.0 Plus||Quick Charge 3.0 Technology|
|Bluetooth||5.0 Support||5.0 Support||4.2 Support|
|LTE Modem||X20 LTE Modem||X16 LTE||X12 LTE|
|Year of availablity||2018||2017||Sept 2016|
We will have to wait for at least until March or April 2018 to see the Snapdragon 845 in action and to benchmark the real-life performance of the new Qualcomm SOC. Some of the expected phones like Samsung S9, S9 Plus, HTC U12, LG G7, Oneplus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 7 are expected to run on the new Qualcomm processor, and we eagerly await for these in the coming months.