Snapdragon 845 launched with 8 Kryo 385 cores; goes for AI without a dedicated NPU

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The Snapdragon 845 has just been launched, promising 30% better performance in the GPU and 25% on the CPU’s side. However raw performance isn’t Qualcomm’s main focus. The Snapdragon 845 is designed for better imaging, security, connectivity and also AI.

Kryo 385 CPU

The processing gains come from the new Kryo 385 cores based on the new ARM Cortex A75 and Cortex A55 architecture. The Snapdragon 845 is the first SoC on the market with DynamiQ CPU cluster configuration. The four performance cores are clocked at a lofty 2.8 GHz, while the four efficiency cores are clocked at 1.8 GHz. Also new on the Snapdragon 845 is the cache configuration. All eight cores share 2MB of L3 cache and 3MB of system cache to improve memory performance.

Adreno 630 GPU

Augmented reality may be mainstream soon?

The GPU makes the jump from the Adreno 540 to the Adreno 630 in the Snapdragon 845. Big numerical jumps usually indicate that there are major improvements in performance at hand, and we are looking at 30% better performance along with 30% higher efficiency, which means a free performance boost without the accompanying power consumption increase. It also enables room-scale 6 degrees of freedom with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for immersive XR — a combination of virtual, augmented and mixed — experiences.

Spectra 280 ISP

Imaging is improved with the new Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP which offer high performance capture up to 16MP @ 60fps, or if slow-mo is your thing, 720p @ 480fps. There is also support for Rec.2020 wide gamut color space recording, meaning full support for HDR10 HEVC recording for wider dynamic range in your videos. Stills will also be improved with multi-frame noise reduction, where multiple shots are layered together to reduce noise without smudging out the fine details.

Hexagon 685 DSP

The Snapdragon 845’s AI’s features are supported by the Hexagon 685 DSP here. With the DSP, Qualcomm is able to offer improved always-on voice detection with very low impact on battery life.It also supports Tensorflow Lite and Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) in addition to existing support for TensorFlow and Caffe/Caffe2 frameworks. Despite not featuring a NPU, Qualcomm is proud to tout AI in their latest SoC. We will see how it performs against devices with dedicated NPUs in their chipsets. The Hexagon 685 is also the third generation Hexagon Vector DSP for improved imaging capabilities.

Snapdragon X20 LTE modem

The latest modem from Qualcomm delivers Cat.18 LTE, or up to 1.2 Gbps download speeds. It also supports dual SIM-Dual VoLTE so you can use two SIMs with outstanding call quality. WiFi 802.11ad is also supported for up to 4.6 GHz speeds. Bluetooth 5.0 comes standard too.

10nm LPP

The Snapdragon 845 is manufactured on Samsung’s 10nm LPP process, an upgrade over the 10nm LPE process the Snapdragon 835 was built on. This should mean that the Snapdragon 845 will actually guzzle more power to deliver the performance gains, as the process change does not yield much efficiency improvements. We will wait for real-life battery figures to surface before passing judgement though.

Pokdepinion: Here I am, still contemplating which Snapdragon 835 device to get, and Snapdragon 845 is already on its way.