Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Launches With 45% Performance Boost, 20% Faster Graphics

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware with 22 Comments

It’s here. Qualcomm’s latest and greatest 7nm processor has just been officially announced at the company’s annual Snapdragon Technology Summit. Meet the Snapdragon 855.

Snapdragon 855 is Qualcomm’s next-gen processor platform. The company is focusing mostly on things like 5G, AI, and XR (“Immersive Extended Reality”). Although the upgrades being introduced this year will really help with AI processing, 5G and XR are mostly going to be one of those marketing gimmicks for a while.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The new Qualcomm Kyro 485 CPU results in 45% faster performance
  • New Adreno 640 GPU results in 20% faster graphics performance
  • Support for Vulkan 1.1, HDR and physically based rendering will improve gaming experiences.
  • New 4th gen “multi-core” Qualcomm AI engine offers 3x performance boost for AI, capable of a total capacity of more than 7 trillion operations per second
  • Doubled vector processing speed thanks to the new Qualcomm Hexagon 690 processor, the new Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, and the Hexagon Vector eXtensions

The new upgrades in performance should help speed up your next flagship phone in many different ways. The focus on AI is really going to help speed up on-device AI, with Qualcomm working with its partners like Google to improve some of the biggest AI libraries for the Snapdragon 855.

Qualcomm has also made significant upgrades to the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform’s camera module — it now includes a new Spectra 380 ISP for faster computer vision capabilities, that will apparently enable “cutting-edge” computational photography and video capture features while offering 4x savings in power usage.

The new ISP will enable features like object classification and object segmentation in 4K HDR videos at 60fps in real-time. It’s also the first image signal processor to support HDR10+ video recording. The Snapdragon 855 also includes hardware acceleration for HEIF file format encoding, which will supposedly reduce file sizes for images and videos by 50%.

And let’s talk about connectivity: the Snapdragon 855 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G model, introducing 5G support for both Sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands. The support for 5G will allow for multi-gigabit speeds on devices powered by the new X50 modem. The processor also comes with the new Wi-Fi 6-ready mobile platform which offers “next generation” Wi-Fi performance and power usage.

All in all, the Snapdragon 855 is a massive upgrade for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon flagship. Although these technical upgrades may not seem like a big deal, they will soon make much more sense once we start seeing them in actual devices. For now, Qualcomm says we will start seeing the Snapdragon 855 on devices in the first half of 2019. Maybe with the Samsung Galaxy S10.

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