Qualcomm unveiled Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC at its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit on Wednesday. The new mobile 5G platform brings a list of upgrades over last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC and is claimed to be 40 percent more power efficient than the older model. It offers real-time raytracing for gaming and supports INT4 and Wi-Fi 7. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 supports new image sensors like the 200-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HP3, and sensors supporting Sony’s new HDR format. It features enhanced AI capabilities and Cognitive ISP for a better camera experience. The new mobile platform comes with new Snapdragon Sound featuring spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. Additionally, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is claimed to be the world’s first 5G AI processor in a mobile platform.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Availability
The second-generation flagship mobile chip by Qualcomm will be adopted by global smartphone brands including Asus ROG, Honor, iQoo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Redmagic, Redmi, Sharp, Sony Corporation, Vivo, Xiaomi, Xingi/Meizu, and ZTE. Phones powered by the new chip are expected by the end of 2022, the company noted.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 features
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is equipped with the Qualcomm AI Engine and it comes with the improved Hexagon processor for AI and machine learning capabilities. The new chip is based on a 4nm process technology, the same process used by Apple’s A16 Bionic chip. Qualcomm says that the AI unit on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 delivers improved results in natural language processing with multi-language translation and advanced AI camera features. With the support of a larger tensor accelerator, the new Hexagon processor is said to deliver up to 4.35x increased AI performance.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is claimed to be the first Qualcomm mobile chip to support Nvidia’s AI precision format INT4, with 60 percent performance improvement for sustained AI inferencing. The latest Qualcomm Sensing Hub features dual AI processors and is claimed to provide support for custom wake words.
On top of this, the new mobile platform comes with a Snapdragon Sight update for photographers. It brings the company’s first Cognitive ISP feature to perform semantic segmentation in real-time. Using the AI neural network, the camera identifies differences in faces, facial features hair, clothes, and even the sky for professional image tuning.
Qualcomm has also added support for upcoming image sensors on the new chip. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 would support the 200-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HP3 sensor and sensors based on Sony’s new HDR technology. Further, Qualcomm has also enabled AV1 video codec with support for video playback up to 8K HDR at 60 frames per second.
For gaming, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 offers Snapdragon Elite Gaming features including real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing with HDR scenes. The latest Adreno GPU is promised to offer up to 25 percent faster performance with up to 45 percent higher power efficiency. The mobile platform supports Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans Framework that allows gamers to experience photorealistic human characters in their games.
On the connectivity front, users will get Wi-Fi 7 with the Snapdragon FastConnect 7800 system on the new chip. This is an upgrade over the FastConnect 6900 that was used by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC last year. There is also Bluetooth v5.3 support. The latest mobile platform features the new Snapdragon X70 5G modem and it is the first Snapdragon platform to support 5G+5G/4G Dual-SIM Dual-Active support that enables the use of two 5G SIMs at once.
With the latest Snapdragon Sound system, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is claimed to deliver 48kHz lossless music streaming as well as the lowest-ever 48ms latency for gaming. It also includes a spatial audio feature with dynamic head-tracking for complete surround-sound immersion.
Furthermore, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is safeguarded with Snapdragon Secure feature for protecting stored data on devices powered by the new SoC.
As revealed by multiple Geekbench listings, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will feature an Arm Cortex-X3 core clocked at 3.2GHz, four Cortex-A715 cores with a peak speed of 2.8GHz and three Cortex-A510 cores capped at 2.0GHz.