Qualcomm acquired chip designer Nuvia a few years ago in an effort to play catch up to Apple in the high-performance ARM-based processor space. But it takes a while to integrated new designs into your product roadmap, so we probably won’t see the first Qualcomm Snapdragon processors with “Oryon” CPU cores until 2024.
But information leaked by WinFuture gives us a slightly better idea of what to expect.
According to WinFuture’s Roland Quandt, Qualcomm will offer several different processors with different configurations:
- SC8380/SC8380XP with 12 CPU cores
- SC8370/SC8370XP with 10 CPU cores
- SC8350/SC8350XP with 8 CPU cores
Quandt says this information comes from “online databases,”
Code-named “Hamoa,” it’s possible that all of these chips will be branded under the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 name, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Qualcomm shakes up its naming scheme a bit to help make it easier to tell the chips apart.
Quandt also notes that like most mobile and PC chips these days, these processors are expected to feature a hybrid architecture that combines Performance and Efficiency cores. So a 12-core chip won’t necessarily have 12 high-performance cores based on Oryon designs. It could have a number of lower-power, energy-efficient cores to handle less demanding tasks.
ARM-based chips have been using this sort of big.LITTLE design for over a decade, and Intel has adopted similar designs for its 12th and 13th-gen Core processors.
While precise specifications of Qualcomm’s next-gen chips haven’t been revealed yet, Quandt speculates that all of the chips could have the same number of efficiency cores, with only the number of performance cores changing.
Quandt notes that this sort of setup would allow Qualcomm to take a page out of the Intel, AMD, and Apple playbooks by offering a range of 3 or more processor variants that all feature the same architectural designs, but which can be divided into good, better, best categories by the number of high-performance CPU cores. It’s also possible that Qualcomm could opt to offer higher CPU frequencies for some chips.
Meanwhile, a little searching for those model numbers took me to a Korean forum where similar information was shared in June… along with potential CPU frequencies and GPUs. I’m still taking these features with a grain of salt, but if accurate, the lineup could look something like this:
SC8380XP (3 configurations):
- 8 P-cores @ 3.4 GHz + 4 E-cores @ 2.5 GHz & 1.25 GHz Adreno 740 graphics
- 8 P-cores @ 3.2 GHz + 4 E-cores @ 2.5 GHz & 1.1 GHz Adreno 740 graphics
- 8 P-cores @ 3 GHz + 4 E-cores @ 2.38 GHz & 1.25 GHz Adreno 740 graphics
SC8370XP (2 configurations):
- 6 P-cores @ 3.4 GHz + 4 E-cores @ 2.5 GHz & 1.25 GHz Adreno 740 graphics
- 6 P-cores @ 3.2 GHz + 4 E-cores @ 2.5 GHz & 1.1 GHz Adreno 740 graphics
According to that website, the SC8350XP was under development, but may be canceled before release.
Again, we should probably take all of these reports with a grain of salt. Nothing is official until Qualcomm launches a chip and/or a PC maker incorporates it into an upcoming system. And it will likely be a while before we really know anything about just how competitive these chips will be against the latest Intel, AMD, and Apple processors in terms of real-world performance.