Qualcomm says its next chip for flagship-class smartphones features a CPU that’s 30% faster than the previous-gen, a GPU that’s 25% faster, and an NPU (Neural Processing Unit for AI performance) that’s 98% faster.

But those speed boosts shouldn’t come at the expense of battery life, since Qualcomm says the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor also promising improved efficiency across the board.

So what does that mean in terms of what a phone can actually do? Among other things, Qualcomm says the new chip brings:

  • Faster on-device AI processing and support for “multi-modality generative AI models”
    • On-device video object eraser
    • Expand photos by filling in details beyond the borders with AI
    • Generative AI backgrounds
    • Night Vision for video capture
    • Qualcomm Hexagon NPU with 98% faster speed and 40% improvement in efficiency
  • Graphics sufficient for 240 FPS gaming
    • Support for 240 Hz displays
    • 1 Hz to 240 Hz variable refresh rate
    • Net-gen ray-tracing system
    • Unreal Engine 5 with Lumen
    • Support for upscaling games to 8K resolutions
    • Qualcomm Adreno GPU with 25% faster speeds and 25% efficiency improvement
  • Next-gen Qualcomm Kryo CPU
    • 1 Prime core @ up to 3.3 GHz
    • 4 Performance cores @ up to 3.2 GHz
    • 2 Efficiency cores @ up to 2.3 GHz

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also features support for up to 24GB of LPDDR5x-4800 memory, has an integrated Snapdragon X75 5G modem, and Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7800 wireless system with support for WiFi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4.

Other features included a triple 18-bit Qualcomm Spectra image signal processor, support for devices with USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports, and 24-bit/96 kHz audio.

Qualcomm says we can expect to see phones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chips from companies including Asus, Honor, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Xiaomi, and ZTE… but noticeably absent from that list is Samsung. That doesn’t mean we won’t see a next-gen flagship from Samsung featuring the processor, but I’m pretty sure Qualcomm would have included that company in its press release if it could have.

press release

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  1. +30% performance
    -20% energy/efficiency
    ….all done on the optimised TSMC-4nm node. Yikes, and we are expected to see another +30% if moving to the proper 3nm node.

    It seems like the QC 8g3 (2024-Q1) is a generational upgrade over the (2022-Q4) QC 8g1+ which is a generational upgrade over the QSD 865+ (2020-Q2).

    I think I can say this catches up to the Apple A15-Bionic chipset from Q4-2021, not sure it quiet matches the A16 or A16 yet. Will have to see it release in the wild and get independent testing.

    Here’s hoping (the 2024-Q3) Apple A18-Pro and M3 chipsets are anywhere from +20%-40% performance upgrade at same/lower efficiency than their predecessors. And that the next (2024-Q4) QC 8g4 continues this trend with a +30% performance at same/lower efficiency. Those would be good times to spend money on expensive gear for the long-term ownership.

    …it would be like a rubber-banding motion where innovation was halted/slowed by the pand emic but afterwards it sped/caught up with the industry expectations.