Just a day after its formal announcement, Qualcomm on Wednesday revealed the major components making Snapdragon 845 a compelling processor for next-generation flagship Android devices. The new SoC is based on the company’s custom Kryo 385 architecture that is touted to speed up the performance by up to 25 percent compared with last year’s Snapdragon 835, while an Adreno 630 GPU is available to enhance on-screen graphics. The San Diego-based company has also added on-device artificial intelligence (AI) functionality.
Qualcomm at its annual summit in Maui, Hawaii, on Wednesday detailed various enhancements to Snapdragon 845 by highlighting five key areas, namely immersion, AI, security, connection, and performance. The immersion area is fulfilled by an integrated Qualcomm Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and Adreno 630 GPU. Among the two components, the ISP enables the chip to capture 64 times more high-dynamic range colour information for video recording and playback on Ultra-HD displays compared to the previous generation Snapdragon SoC. There is also a massive boost in colour information, including 10-bit colour depth for over one billion shades of colours that can be previewed to the wide Rec. 2020 gamut. Similarly, the new GPU is claimed to support XR experiences that include virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in addition to general visual processing. The new Snapdragon chip is also highlighted to be the first to support room-scale six degrees of freedom (6DoF) with simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) to enable an enhanced virtual reality (VR) experience. Additionally, there is ‘Adreno foveation’ that is claimed to reduce power consumption, improve visual quality, and boost XR application performance than that of the previous Snapdragon generation.
In addition to the secure experience through SPU, Snapdragon 845 has the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, which is Qualcomm’s second-generation Gigabit LTE solution, to enable high-speed data access on a range of technology and frequency band configurations. The modem is claimed to support LTE Category 18 peak download speeds of 1.2Gbps, up to five times carrier aggregation, License Assisted Access (LAA), Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE, as well as 4×4 MIMO on up to three aggregated carriers. Moreover, the chip is compatible with configurations for 5G that is yet to be released in the global markets.
Qualcomm has also provided diversity-enhanced 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi that can deliver multi-gigabit coverage at a speed of up to 4.6Gbps. The Snapdragon 845 SoC also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi with some tweaks to provide 16 times faster connection setup, simultaneous dual-band support, and 30 percent more capacity utilisation on carrier Wi-Fi networks, compared to the previous generation. Likewise, the processor has Bluetooth 5.0 that can broadcast audio simultaneously to multiple wireless speakers and other connected devices. The new Bluetooth technology is also claimed to reduce battery consumption of wireless headsets by up to 50 percent compared to the preceding development.
On the performance front, the Adreno 630 GPU is marketed to garner graphics performance and power efficiency by up to 30 percent over its previous generation. The Kryo 385 CPU, on the other hand, is claimed to enhance performance across gaming, application launch times, and performance-intensive applications by up to 25 percent. The CPU has four performance cores of up to 2.8GHz clock speed and four efficiency cores of up to 1.8GHz.