Qualcomm Announced Snapdragon 888, The Next Mobile Chip For High-End Smartphones

Dhir Acharya - Dec 03, 2020

Qualcomm Announced Snapdragon 888, The Next Mobile Chip For High-End Smartphones

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 has finally been unveiled and will come out next year to power premium smartphones. What does it offer?

It has become a tradition that in early December every year, Qualcomm announces its new flagship mobile processor that will be used in high-end smartphones and tablets. And now, as the Snapdragon 888 has finally been unveiled, here’s everything it offers.

Snapdragon 888
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 has been unveiled

Performance and gaming

The chip features the Kryo 680 CPU along with the Adreno 660 GPU built with a 5nm process. Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 888 delivers 25 percent more speed and 25 percent more efficiency compared with the Snapdragon 865 launched last year.

One of the main reasons for this improved performance is that Qualcomm has switched to a new CPU architecture with a main high-performance Cortex-X1 core from ARM, along with quad Cortex A55 efficiency cores and three Cortex A78 performance cores.

The GPU of the Snapdragon 888 comes with 35% more graphics speed, which is the biggest upgrade between consecutive generations. For gaming capabilities, the chipmaker has included the Snapdragon Elite Gaming suite to support Variable Rate Shading. This will supposedly improve the game rendering speed by 30 percent while the company’s Game Quick Touch is expected to raise the touch response speed by 20 percent as well as better support 120fps gameplay.

Snapdragon 888
More processing and gaming power


For imaging capabilities, Qualcomm includes three Spectra 580 image processors, an upgrade from the two ISP on previous chips. With triple imaging processors, the Snapdragon 88 can offer an ISP to each of three cameras on the rear, which has become the new standard for many premium smartphones.

In the past, the limited image processing performance prevents smartphones from deploying all the cameras at one time, so phone makers have to come up with workarounds. So, the new upgrade will help boost image quality.

At the same time, for low-light shots, Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 888 will take more beautiful low-light shots with as little as .1 lux of light, meaning barely any light.

The three ISP will also allow for processing larger images, recording 120fps photos, as well as processing 4K clips with computational HDR for improving contrast, color, exposure among other factors. Last but not least, the Snapdragon 888 has a new photo capture that uses 10-bit color through the HEIF format.

Snapdragon 888
More image processing power


Sure, the Snapdragon 888 will support 5G networks like previous high-end smartphone chips. Apart from Wi-Fi 6 support with up to 3.6Gbps speed, dual Bluetooth antennas, Bluetooth 5.2, the Snapdragon 888 also comes with the Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF system which supports sub-6 GHz 5G and mmWave 5G. Qualcomm promises better 5G power efficiency.

AI and security

Though these are probably not the most anticipated features on a mobile chip, they are just as important as any other one. The Hexagon 780 processor on the Snapdragon 888 is said to offer twice the tensor compute performance, 50 percent better scalar performance, as well as better support for natural language processing among other tasks. We hope that this will help process commands on the device for enhanced security and privacy.

The 2nd-gen Sensing Hub will provide improved support for contextual gestures and specific events such as car crashes, earthquakes, screen wake, ambient audio, and lifting.

Snapdragon 888
Better security

When it comes to security, the Snapdragon 888 features a Secure Processing unit supporting Type-1 Hypervisor that lets applications run in a special sandboxed environment, which will protect against malware, and allows multiple sandboxed operating systems to run at the same time.

The Snapdragon 888 is expected to be available for sale in the first quarter of 2021 with Motorola and Oppo among other big phone makers committed to using it in their new devices.

>>> iPhone 12 Chip Is The World's Most Powerful Mobile Processor, Putting All Competitors To Shame


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