Qualcomm announces the 7nm Snapdragon 855, Snapdragon Elite Gaming, and 3D Sonic Sensor
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018 officially kicked off today with a number of 5G-related announcements from Qualcomm and their partners. Near the end of the presentation, however, Alex Katouzian, SVP and General Manager of mobile at Qualcomm revealed the name and some of the features of their next flagship mobile platform. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is official, and it’s coming to mobile devices soon.
Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship mobile platform will carry a more conventional branding and not the 8150 branding as previously rumored. Make no mistake, the internal platform name of “sm8150” had been accurate all along, but the company chose to continue their existing branding scheme for the next mobile platform’s marketing name—not unlike older Qualcomm flagship mobile platforms like the msm8996 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 820) or msm8974 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800).
The upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform will be manufactured on a 7nm process, as previously disclosed. The platform will also be 5G ready thanks to being compatible with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem. Unlike the 5G talks during last year’s Snapdragon 845 announcement, this year 5G is much closer to becoming a reality. For example, Verizon announced yesterday that Samsung will release a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. The U.S. is only slightly behind South Korea in enabling 5G for consumers, as TechRadar reports that three South Korean operators launched their 5G networks for enterprise consumers in parts of major cities. With the 5G-ready Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, your next flagship smartphone will be capable of utilizing the high-speed 5G networks once operators are ready.
Qualcomm will give us more details on the new Snapdragon 855 mobile platform during the second day of the 2018 Snapdragon Tech Summit. However, the company did give us a sneak peek at some of tomorrow’s announcements. The company states that the new mobile platform features their fourth-generation, multi-core AI Engine with up to 3 times the AI performance compared to the Snapdragon 845. The Snapdragon 855 also features the world’s first Computer Vision Image Signal Processor (CV-ISP) to deliver new photo and video capture features. Next, the company unveiled Snapdragon Elite Gaming, a set of features in the mobile platform to enhance mobile gaming experiences. Lastly, the company announced the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor—an under-display fingerprint sensor solution that uses ultrasonic waves, unlike optical under-display fingerprint sensors which use light. Qualcomm states that them using ultrasound in the 3D Sonic Sensor is more secure and accurate than the alternative.
As expected, new releases from Qualcomm focus on improving the core pillars of the user experience, which include performance, AI, camera, entertainment and connectivity with the advent of 5G. Beyond that, there’s not much else we can tell you today. The company is hosting events with more information about the Snapdragon 855 throughout the Summit, and most of the mobile platform’s specifications and features will be made public during Day 2.