All the details on Qualcomm's latest and greatest mobile processor set to power the next wave of flagship phones.
Qualcomm has taken the full wraps off the Snapdragon 888, its latest and greatest mobile processor that will power the next wave of flagship phones starting early 2021. Following in the footsteps of the Snapdragon 865/Snapdragon 865+, the Snapdragon 888 promises up to 25 percent faster CPU performance and up to 35 percent faster graphics plus better carrier aggregation and download speeds up to 7.5 Gbps thanks to its “integrated” Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System.
The 5nm Snapdragon 888 has a Kryo 680 CPU based on Arm’s new Cortex-X1 core. This CPU can peak 2.84GHz clock speed. This is paired to an Adreno 660 GPU. Qualcomm says the Kryo 680 and Adreno 660 can sustain their performance over long periods of time with the CPU being billed as 25 percent and the GPU up to 20 percent more power-efficient compared to those on the Snapdragon 865.
Here is what the whole configuration looks like:
- 8-core CPU, with one ARM Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.84GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.42GHz, and four ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz
- Adreno 660 GPU
As expected, Qualcomm is also highlighting that big improvements will be coming to Snapdragon 888-powered devices in areas like photography, artificial intelligence and gaming — though this would ultimately depend on how well OEMs will be able to implement them.
The Spectra 580 inside the Snapdragon 888 is the first from Qualcomm to feature a Triple Image Signal Processor (ISP). This would allow capturing three 4K HDR video streams or three 28MP photos simultaneously at “breakneck” processing speeds of up to 2.7 gigapixels per second. This is notably a 35 percent improvement over the predecessor. Moreover, the ISP’s new low light architecture should entail brighter photos “even in near darkness,” according to Qualcomm.
The Hexagon 780 AI processor coupled with Qualcomm’s sixth-generation AI Engine inside the Snapdragon 888 can theoretically perform 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS) with up to three times performance per watt improvement over the previous generation. The dedicated low-power Sensing Hub, now in its second-generation, should meanwhile ensure the phone has to rely even less on the main processor for smaller tasks like raise to wake.
The Snapdragon 888 is claimed to be the first processor of its kind to enable Variable Rate Shading (VRS) on mobile devices for up to 30% faster game rendering while also improving power.
Soon-to-launch Snapdragon 888-powered devices
- Realme Race
- Xiaomi Mi 11
- Red Magic 6
- Oppo Find X3
- Nubia Z
- ZTE Axon 30
There will of course be more devices incoming. Some of the biggest names being Samsung’s next Galaxy S (likely the S21) and OnePlus 9. Qualcomm has also confirmed that Asus, Black Shark, LG, Lenovo, Meizu, Motorola, and Sharp will be some of its other “partners” for Snapdragon 888-powered devices.