Mobile processors and chipset maker Qualcomm is busy with the development of the next-gen smartphone System on a Chip (SoC). The new mobile CPU may not boast higher clock speed but should have several more benefits, including onboard 5G modem and the ability to support higher bandwidth memory. A listing on the popular online benchmarking repository platform Geekbench revealed some fascinating aspects of the upcoming Qualcomm processor, which is most likely going to be called Snapdragon 865.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 was recently refreshed with the Snapdragon 855+ chipset. The overclocked CPU is being included in several smartphones that are meant for mobile gaming, including the Black Shark 2, OnePlus 7 Pro, and several other premium Android mobile devices. The company making the most popular mobile chipset is apparently busy with the next iteration to the Snapdragon 800 Series, which is the top-end mobile chipset. The upcoming flagship Qualcomm chipset should be branded as Snapdragon 865, and it would most likely launch this year itself. But the Android smartphones with Snapdragon 865 chipset should start arriving early next year. Still, a new listing on Geekbench seems to reveal some interesting bits of information about the same.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC Specifications:
The listing on Geekbench does not specifically mention Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Instead, it lists the Qualcomm processor as “Qualcomm Kona”. Even more surprising is the listing seems to indicate the processor is being tested on a smartphone test bench running Android 10. The chipset, which could quite possibly be further fine-tuned and refined, appeared on Geekbench on August 7.
Incidentally, the tests were conducted on Android AARCH64, which is the latest 64-bit extension of the prevalent ARMv8 architect. Simply put, the test bench supports 64Bit architecture. The processor’s ability to support the architecture indicates it could also power laptops running Windows 10 OS. While the Snapdragon 855 Plus is the processor for high-end gaming-focused smartphones, Qualcomm has confirmed the development of Snapdragon 8cx processor for Windows laptops. Interestingly, the Snapdragon 8cx has been known to beat Apple Inc.’s A12 SoC in performance.
— killingwith#Tech… (@KillingwithT) August 9, 2019
The “Qualcomm Kona” chipset has 8 cores with a base frequency of 1.80 GHz. The SoC is likely following a Gold and Silver arrangement such as the current generation Snapdragon 855. There are four Gold cores which are clocked at a higher speed for performance-heavy tasks while the remaining four Silver cores are meant to drive routine processes. The base frequency of 1.8 GHz most likely belongs to the efficiency cores, while the performance cores would be clocked much higher.
The most important aspect of the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 smartphone chipset is the possible inclusion of 5G modem. Interestingly, Qualcomm is rumored to be developing two variants of the Snapdragon 865, and only one could natively support a 5G modem. Needless to mention, the chipset lacking the 5G modem would be meant for regions that still do not have 5G infrastructure. Incidentally, Snapdragon 865 would be the first Qualcomm SoC to pack a 5G modem onboard. Android smartphones with Snapdragon 855 SoC can offer 5G connectivity, but they require an additional Qualcomm X55 modem. Needless to mention, the additional hardware usually needs more internal space and even drains the battery at a faster rate. An onboard 5G modem coupled with powerful antennas would offer significant battery efficiency.
It is important to note that the Geekbench listing is nowhere close to the final production-ready Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. The listing possibly reveals only experimental versions which are being tested. The final version of the Snapdragon 865 SoC could include several more performance improvements. Experts claim Qualcomm is looking to move to LPDDR5X RAM standard and include support for faster storage such as UFS 3.0. Samsung Galaxy S11, which is expected to launch in February 2020, could be the first Android smartphone to pack the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset.
Samsung Making The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Which Is Better Than Apple Inc. A13 Chipset?
While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 was manufactured by Taiwanese company TSMC, the Snapdragon 865 would be manufactured by Samsung Foundry. The Snapdragon 865 processor will be fabricated on the new 7nm EUV-based fabrication process. Needless to add, the 7nm production process should offer a substantial improvement in thermal performance and efficiency. Samsung is expected to mass-produce the Snapdragon 865 SoC early next year.
According to the Geekbench listing, the Qualcomm SoC secured a multi-core score of 12,915. This score easily beats every other phone so far including the Apple iPhone XS Max. It is even more surprising to note that the test bench managed the score with 6GB of RAM clocked at a base frequency of 1.8 GHz. The final and optimized version of Snapdragon 865 chipset could run at a higher frequency, resulting in even better performance. If Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 does meet expectations, it could outperform Apple Inc.’s A13 SoC, which is considered one of the most powerful and efficient smartphone chipsets, as of now.