Qualcomm has officially announced the Snapdragon 888 at its Snapdragon Tech Summit, offering a first look at the next-generation leading smartphone processor. 888 will power the next wave of 2021 flagships for Android from companies such as Samsung, OnePlus, LG, Sony and others.
For the first time for the company’s best 8-series chipsets, the Snapdragon 888 makes a big improvement for 5G: it will finally offer a fully integrated 5G modem, unlike last year’s Snapdragon 865 (which required manufacturers to plug a separate modem chip inside the cramped interior on a modern smartphone).
The Snapdragon 888 will include Qualcomm’s X60 modem, announced earlier this year, which is moving to a 5nm process for better energy efficiency and improvements for 5G media aggregation in the mmWave and below 6GHz bands. Between the new 5nm architecture and the energy efficiency of the integrated modem, the new chip seems to offer some significant battery improvements when it comes to 5G.
In addition to the 5G enhancements, Qualcomm is annoying with several other advances in the Snapdragon 888, including the company’s sixth-generation AI Engine (running a “redesigned Qualcomm Hexagon” processor), which promises a big leap in performance and energy efficiency for AI tasks. The Snapdragon 888 will also include “the most significant upgrade in Qualcomm Adreno GPU performance,” although details of upcoming improvements have not yet been announced.
Finally, Qualcomm has previewed new photography features that the Snapdragon 888 will enable, including the ability to capture approximately 120 shots per second at 12 megapixel resolution, thanks to an updated ISP (which is up to 35 percent faster) .
According to Qualcomm’s usual practice, today’s announcement is just a first look at the Snapdragon 888. A more comprehensive overview of the specs and improvements offered with this year’s chipset will arrive on the second day of the Snapdragon Tech Summit program, on December 2nd. And given Qualcomm’s near-complete dominance when it comes to providing chips for almost every major smartphone in the United States, the Snapdragon 888’s debut isn’t just a first look at Qualcomm’s latest accomplishments: it’s an overview of what to expect from phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S21 range and other top Android phones for 2021 too.
We’ll have more details on the Snapdragon 888 tomorrow as the summit continues, so check back for more information soon.