Earlier this week, Qualcomm officially announced its Snapdragon 845 chip that will presumably power the majority of flagship smartphones throughout 2018. Details were originally scarce, but the company has since given a full rundown of what to expect from the new mobile processor.
Upgrading from the Snapdragon 835’s Kryo 280, the new Snapdragon 845 features a Kryo 385 CPU which boasts a 30 percent improvement on its high-performance cores and a 15 percent increase on its low-power cores. It does this by retaining the previous eight cores but pushing its four performance cores to 2.8GHz and its four efficient cores to 1.8GHz.
Its graphics core has replaced the Adreno 540 for the Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem, bringing in a hefty 30 percent increase to the chip’s graphical performance and 64x more high-dynamic range colour information for video capture and playback. In fact, 30 percent seems like the magic number as the GPU and CPU combined help keep the chip about 30 percent more power efficient over its predecessor.
The Snapdragon 845 introduces its Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) to help with 4K HDR video capture at 60 frames per second (FPS), a first for smartphones, as well as high definition slow-motion video up to 480FPS. Still images will benefit from its ability to produce 60 images-per-second up to 16 megapixels in detail.
Qualcomm hasn’t forgotten about security, either, ensuring that the Snapdragon 845 includes a “vault-like secure processing unit.” This is pretty much Qualcomm’s own isolated subsystem that houses its own CPU, power supply, Crypto engine, random number generator and embedded private RAM, improving biometric support and encryption beyond anything we’ve seen before from a consumer mobile “platform.”
The company has already begun shipping to manufacturers, so it’s likely to make an appearance at upcoming events such as CES.
KitGuru Says: Qualcomm is pushing the mobile VR and AR scene quite hard with its new chip, so it will be interesting to see the impact it will have alongside Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform as both push into 2018. Still, my worry is how much more cost will fall on the consumer.