Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 announced: Top features, specs, and phones to be powered by new chip

Flagship Android phones running on the new chip are likely to arrive by end 2021, Qualcomm said.

qualcomm snapdragon
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been paired with a 3rd Gen Qualcomm Snapdragon Hub that can process data streams using low-power AI.

Qualcomm unveiled the much-anticipated Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor as its new 5G mobile platform for next-generation flagship Android devices at the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit on Wednesday. The chip is the first to feature the new Snapdragon branding.

The San Diego-based chipmaker said the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 had up to four times faster AI performance than last year’s Snapdragon 888 SoC. It is also being touted to deliver 30% faster graphics rendering and 25% more power efficiency. The company said the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was the world’s first 5G modem-RF solution to reach 10 Gigabit download speeds on a compatible network.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: First Android phones to get new chip

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be used by smartphone vendors such as Honor, Motorola, OnePlus, Black Shark, iQoo, Nubia, Realme, Oppo, Redmi, Sony, Sharp, Xiaomi, Vivo, and ZTE. Phones running on the new chip are likely to arrive by end 2021, Qualcomm said.

More specifically, Xiaomi has confirmed the Xiaomi 12, Motorola has confirmed the Moto Edge X30, Realme has confirmed the Realme GT 2 Pro, and Oppo has confirmed the Oppo Find X4 (tentative name) — flagships set to be powered by the new chip.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Top features, specs

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will feature the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine, rated to have twice the shared memory, along with a faster tensor accelerator that delivers a better per-watt performance over the Snapdragon 888’s 6th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine. The new chip will be based on a 4nm process technology, an upgrade over its predecessor’s 5nm process technology.

Qualcomm is yet to reveal the names of the Adreno GPU and the Kryo CPU on the new chip. The Kryo CPU is said to be Arm Cortex-X2 cores that can clock up to 3GHz. The company has said the CPU was 20 times faster and 30% more power efficient over its Snapdragon 888 counterpart. The new Adreno GPU is also rated to deliver a 30% boost in graphics rendering and 25% better power saving.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 features a Qualcomm Hexagon processor, available as a part of the AI Engine, for an enhanced AI experience. The chip has also integrated Leica Leitz Look filters for enhanced bokeh effect.

Qualcomm said it worked with Boston-based health tech company Sonde Health to allow the system to analyse vocal patterns to determine if a user is at risk of health conditions such as depression, asthma, and even Covid-19.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been paired with a 3rd Gen Qualcomm Snapdragon Hub that can process data streams using low-power AI.

For gamers, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes with over 50 Snapdragon Elite Gaming features for a smooth and responsive experience as well as colour-rich HDR scenes. The company said that it had integrated a Variable Rate Shading Pro feature to offer desktop-level volumetric rendering.

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