After teasing the new name scheme for its Snapdragon chips, Qualcomm has officially launched the first platform to carry the single-digit scheme: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The unveiling took place at the Snapdragon Tech Summit earlier today in Hawaii which has witnessed the launch of several Snapdragon 800 Series variants over the years.
Despite the new name scheme, the SoC continues to be positioned as the highest-tier of the Snapdragon family which is a role that is identical to the Snapdragon 800 Series. As you may expect, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which is manufactured using 4nm process technology at Samsung’s foundry carries some improvements in terms of performance.
For example, its Kryo CPU which carries a 3.0GHz Cortex-X2 core, three 2.5GHz Cortex-A710, and four Cortex-A510 cores can deliver up to 20% faster performance over its predecessor. At the same time, Qualcomm also claimed the CPU can provide up to 30% power savings.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 also marked the arrival of a new Adreno GPU which surprisingly was not given an actual name, unlike its predecessors. Nevertheless, the new GPU is apparently able to hit up to 30% more performance than the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888 and it also consumes 25% less power at the same level of performance as per its predecessor.
Another new feature that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has brought to the table is the Snapdragon Sight Technology which consisted of several components including a new Spectra ISP that is capable of delivering 18-bits colour depth. As a comparison, the Snapdragon 888 was equipped with a 14-bit ISP.
According to Qualcomm, the new ISP can capture 4,000 times more camera data than its predecessor at a speed of up to 3.2 gigapixels/s and is also capable of performing 8K HDR video capture. The SoC also has a dedicated Always-On ISP that is designed to deliver continuous facial-based screen lock capability without consuming much power.
On the AI front, the 7th Gen AI Engine within the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC helps deliver up to four times the AI performance of Snapdragon 888 as well as two times faster tensor accelerator. Qualcomm also noted that it has doubled the shared memory on the new SoC that allows it to run larger AI models.
Connectivity-wise, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 carries an integrated Snapdragon X65 5G modem that supports speeds of up to 10Gbps together with three Sub-6 5G carrier aggregation. Manufacturers can choose to couple the new chip with FastConnect 6900 that can provide it with 3.6Gbps Wi-Fi 6E capability alongside the support for Bluetooth 5.2, LE Audio, Qualcomm aptX, and Snapdragon Sound.
Pretty much almost all the well-known phone manufacturers have committed to the new flagship SoC including Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Redmi, SHARP, Sony Corporation, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. In terms of release date, the first batch of devices powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is expected to be unveiled to consumers by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, the company didn’t reveal any other chips within the new 8 series nor how they would be named. Naturally, one may expect that there could be other 8 series chips in the mix just like in the previous generation of Snapdragon 800 Series products but it is something that Qualcomm will only address when the time comes.