Just recently, Qualcomm officially released the Snapdragon 888 flagship platform processor at the 2020 Snapdragon Technology Summit. It will appear on the next generation of flagship smartphones.
For Qualcomm’s top 8 series chipsets, the Snapdragon 888’s major improvement refers to 5G: it will eventually provide a fully integrated 5G modem, unlike last year’s Snapdragon 865 (which contains a separate modem chip).
As for the architecture, the Snapdragon 888 uses 1 x 2.84GHz (ARM’s latest Cortex X1 core)+3 x 2.4GHz (Cortex A78)+4 x 1.8GHz (Cortex A55) design. Also, it integrates an Adreno 660 GPU, a X60 5G modem baseband, and supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
The Snapdragon 888 will use the Snapdragon X60 modem announced by Qualcomm earlier this year. The modem uses a 5nm process to achieve better power efficiency and improve 5G carrier aggregation across millimeter wave mmWave and frequency spectrum below 6GHz. Also, it supports global multi-SIM cards, SA independence and NSA non-independence networks, and dynamic spectrum sharing. Between the new 5nm architecture and the power efficiency improvements brought by the integrated modem, the new chip seems to provide some substantial battery life improvements in 5G.
In addition to 5G improvements, Qualcomm also foresees several other developments that Snapdragon 888 will make, including the sixth-generation AI engine (running on the “redesigned” Qualcomm Hexagon processor) and the second-generation Sensing hub. This engine promises a big leap in AI task performance and power efficiency. The company promised to reach 26 TOPS. In terms of games, Qualcomm will launch the third-generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming, which will also bring “the most significant upgrade of Qualcomm Adreno GPU performance”. It supports 144fps games and desktop-level rendering.
Finally, Qualcomm previewed the new photography functions that the Snapdragon 888 will implement, including support for faster billion-pixel processing speeds due to the updated ISP. Users can process 2.7 billion pixels per second to take photos and videos, that is to capture 120 frames per second and each frame is 12MP. Qualcomm said it is 35% faster than the previous generation in image processing.