Chip maker Qualcomm has unveiled its next-gen flagship processor. The company says the Snapdragon 820 chip offers twice the performance and the twice power efficiency of the Snapdragon 810 chip used in many of this year’s top-tier smartphones.
The new processor is also said to feature 40 percent better graphics performance, faster 4G LTE, and support for cameras up to 28 megapixels.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip is a 14nm, 64-bit processor with 4 CPU cores based on Qualcomm’s Kryo architecture. It also features Adreno 530 graphics, Qualcomm’s Hexagon 680 digital signal processor, Spectra camera ISP, and Snapdragon X12 LTE modem.
It supports CPU speeds up to 2.2 GHz and can handle 4K Ultra HD video capture and playback.
Other features include support for 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology. the chip supports LPDDR4 1866 MHz dual-channel memory, and eMMC 5.1 storage.
Here’s what some of those things mean:
- Quick Charge 3.0 should allow you to charge your phone nearly 40 percent more quickly than QC 2.0 and up to 4 times faster than with a traditional charger.
- Qualcomm says peak LTE upload speeds are up to 3 times faster and download speeds are up to 33 percent faster. Part of the reason for this is support for both licensed and unlicensed LTE spectrum.
- WiFi speeds should also be better thanks to support for 802.11ad WiFi and MU-MIMO.
- The new camera ISP supports hybrid autofocus, a wider range of color, and support for 14-bit image sensors.
The Snapdragon 820 is clearly Qualcomm’s most powerful processor to date… but on paper so was the Snapdragon 810 when it was launched. Unfortunately that chip suffers from overheating issues that can affect performance in some situations.
So a natural question is whether the new processor has any heat problems. Qualcomm says no. But that’s pretty much what the company said about the Snapdragon 810, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens once independent users and reviewers get a chance to put the new chip through the paces.