As expected, Qualcomm announced its flagship processor at the ongoing Snapdragon Summit (2022). The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will power the next generation of flagship smartphones, and it brings massive improvements over last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. So, let’s look deeper into the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, including its architecture, performance, photography, connectivity, and AI capabilities.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Overview:
New “1+4+3” CPU Architecture
As previously leaked, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is based on TSMC’s 4nm process node. Like its predecessor, it brings a total of eight CPU cores. And this is where the similarities between Snapdragon Gen 1 and Snapdragon Gen 2 end.
Not only does the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 bring a 2nd Gen Armv9-based CPU cores, but also a new core arrangement. Qualcomm has moved on from the traditional 1+3+4 setup to a newer 1+4+3. Leading the line is the new Kryo Prime core based on Cortex-X3. It is backed by 4x Performance cores (2.8GHz) and 3x Efficiency cores (@2.0GHz).
While Qualcomm has not laid out the details yet but it is widely believed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is using two Cortex-A715 and two Cortex-A710 cores as the Performance cores. Likewise, it is the Cortex-A510 cores taking on the less resource-demanding tasks.
Overall, Qualcomm is quoting up to 35% performance boost and 40% improved power efficiency on its latest flagship chip.
Real-time hardware-based Ray Tracing
In addition to the CPU, Qualcomm is also making massive promises with the new Adreno GPU. As per the company, the new GPU is up to 25% faster than its predecessor, as well as up to 45% more power efficient.
That’s not all, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 brings a few Elite Gaming features never seen on any of Qualcomm’s chips. For starters, it is the first chip in the lineup to bring hardware-based Ray Tracing for closer-to-life lights in games.
Qualcomm even shared a demonstration on War Thunder and confirmed Xiaomi, Honor, and BBK Electronics (Oppo, iQOO, OnePlus, Vivo) as the early adopters. Likewise, game developers like NetEase and Tencent are also on board.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also bridging the gap between real-life human and in-game characters’ appearance with the Unreal Engine 5 MetaHuman framework. It is also the first mobile GPU to support Vulkan 1.3 API, which it does alongside the OpenGL ES 3.2 framework.
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Another key highlight of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is its AI implementation. The new Qualcomm AI Engine has the new and updated Hexagon processor at its cores. It is said to be 4.35 times faster than its predecessor in select tasks like Natural Language Processing. A part of it is due to added support for Micro Tile interference. What this means is next generation of Android flagships will be capable of translating in multiple languages in real time as you speak.
There is even support for INT4, which is another first for the lineup, with a 60% better performance/watt. This allows your phone’s smart assistant to respond faster and more effectively.
In addition, the new Qualcomm Sensing Hub now has a dual-core processor for the first time. It will bring new features like direct-to-app voice assistance to smartphones.
Qualcomm’s first AI-powered Cognitive ISP
The 18-bit triple Cognitive ISP on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the first AI-powered camera processor on the lineup. With real-time semantic segmentation, the ISP can recognize and individually optimize each component within the frame.
Qualcomm has even added support and fine-tuned its latest flagship processor for newer image sensor technologies. This includes optimization for Sony’s first quad digital overlap HDR on the UMX800 and IMX989 and Samsung’s 200MP HP3 sensor.
In addition, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 even includes AV1 codec for video playback up to 8K HDR at 60fps.
World’s first 5G Modem with integrated AI
Qualcomm has even included an AI processor on the new Snapdragon X70 modem, making it the first and so fa,r the only modem with AI capability. Interestingly, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the first Qualcomm chip to support dual 5G connectivity, when this feature has been part of the MediaTek Dimensity lineup for quite some time now.
The new Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 adds support for Wi-Fi 7 with up to 5.8Gbps peak speed, thanks to the high-band simultaneous multi-link.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: What’s different?
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|Process node||TSMC 4nm||Samsung 4nm|
|Architecture||2nd Gen ARMv9||ARMv9.0|
|CPU||1x Cortex-X3 (3.2 GHz)
2x Cortex-A715 (2.8GHz)
2x Cortex-A710 (2.8GHz)
3x Cortex-A510 (2.0GHz)
|1x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3x Cortex-A710 (2.5GHz)
4x Cortex-A510 (1.80GHz)
|GPU||“NEW” Adreno GPU
(Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing)
|Memory||LPDDR5 (4200MHz)||LPDDR5 (3200MHz)|
|AI Engine||8th Gen AI Engine||7th Gen AI Engine|
|ISP||Spectra Cognitive ISP
Triple 18-bit ISP
Up to 200MP
Triple 18-bit ISP
Up to 108MP
|5G Modem||Snapdragon X70 (with AI)
up to 10Gbps
Dual 5G Active
up to 10Gbps
|FaceConnect System||Qualcomm FastConnect 7800||Qualcomm FastConnect 6900|
|Wi-Fi||WiFi 7 (up to 5.8Gbps)||WiFi 6 (up to 3.6Gbps)|
|Fast Charging||Qualcomm Quick Charge 5|
Upcoming smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm has already confirmed that we will be seeing the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphone before the end of this year. There are already brands in the race to launch the first smartphone with the latest Snapdragon chip inside. This includes Honor, iQOO, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Red Magic, Xiaomi, Redmi, Sharp, Sony, ZTE, Vivo, and MEIZU. Interestingly, the list does not mention Samsung, which is said to embrace the new chip for the whole of its S23 series.