So, we saw the Bionic A12, which was very impressive, we also have the Kirin 980 coming, which does have a lot expectations riding on it Now the next big chip release would be in 2019, with Qualcomm coming out with the Snapdragon 855. We have written quite extensively about the upcoming Snapdragon 855, but today we have even more information, coming in from Winfuture.mobi.
The naming of chip might be changed, it might be called the Snapdragon 8150, this is actually in line with the upcoming Snapdragon laptop processors, which will also be named among similar lines.
The current Snapdragon 845 is actually a octacore processor, it has four efficiency cores and four power cores. The Snapdragon 855 also has a similar principle setup, with four efficiency cores and four power ones. The big change here is that unlike the current Snapdragon 845, it won’t have an adaptive design, meaning it will only have custom Kyro cores from Qualcomm.
Again from the Winfuture.mobi revelation, Qualcomm is actually segregating chips in two catagories, gold and silver. This is also know as binning, where you segregate good silicon from the others in the lot. The silver cores can clock up to 1.7 GHz, while the gold cores clock up to 2.6GHz. This is from very early internal testing and yields might increase when launch dates approach.
We might also see some very premium devices with the better binned chips, for that little extra performance. But again, mobile chips have to hit that fine balance between thermals, power consumption and compute performance, so that extra headroom might not be utilized.
Also, this is actually the first chip from Qualcomm to have a separate neural chip. There are obvious benefits to it, including increased AR performance and other tasks that make use of machine learning neural code. Machine learning is also being heavily used in cameras, the Pixel devices strong camera performance can be largely attributed to only software. So it would be great if a separate neural chip directly translates to better camera performance.
But the most important improvement would be in terms of lithograph technology, as this chip will be the first 7nm chip from Qualcomm. Apple and Huawei have already done it, so now there are performance parameters the Snapdragon 855 can aim to. Winfuture also stated that size of the finished chip measured 12.4 x 12.4 mm in dimension. Interestingly, this is the same size as of the Snapdragon 845, even though it was on the 10nm process.
Winfuture, also got information that the new chips will cost phone manufacturers 53$, which is a slight increase from the Snapdragon 845’s 48$ price. Although, it’s impossible to confirm as different manufacturers have different deals with Qualcomm, for their products.
Another interesting thing to note here is that the next generation Qualcomm chip won’t have ingrained 5G support, manufacturers will have to include a separate modem for that. It will be interesting to see how performance stacks up against the Bionic A12 chips from Apple, as Qualcomm continues playing catch up with them.