After the official launch, today we delve into the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 mobile application processor. Snapdragon 865 2018 offers Snapdragon 855 as Qualcomm’s flagship mobile application processor, with significant improvements in the most popular trends in the smartphone, gaming, artificial intelligence, and photography industry.
For fast transport, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is based on the 7 nm FinFET process of TSMC. While the average performance has increased by approximately 25%, energy efficiency has landed in the range of 855 to 25%, and Qualcomm has redesigned its artificial intelligence and image processing solutions. Snapdragon 865 does not yet have an integrated 5G modem, which shouldn’t be a big problem. This can be overlooked, given the number of other improvements that have been made in 865.
Snapdragon 865 CPU and GPU Deep Diving
The heart of each chipset of a smartphone has a combination of CPU and GPU. You won’t find a more powerful pair than the Snapdragon 865 Kryo 585 CPU and the Adreno 650 GPU.
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The Snapdragon 855 and the Snapdragon 865 Prime are built with an octa-core CPU configuration. The highest priority is the Arm Cortex-A77 watch at 2.85GHz. I have paired with a 512 kb L2 memory cache for maximum performance. Three other large Cortex-A77 cores surround the core, offering a maximum clock speed of 2.4GHz and a smaller 256kb L2 cache. The Cortex-A77 is the most potent ARM CPU to date and has enough power to run the most demanding mobile applications and games. Neither the Kirin 990 nor the Exynos 990 contain this CPU core; They are based on the old Cortex-A76 (and Samsung’s custom M4 core in the case of Exynos).
The small core of energy efficiency is more familiar than last year. These are four Cortex-A55 cores with a 128 kb L2 cache and a clock speed of 1.8 GHz. It is the same configuration as last year. Overall, Qualcomm promises to offer a 25% efficiency and energy efficiency to this generation.
On the gaming side, the Snapdragon 865 comes with an Adreno 650 GPU. Qualcomm promises a similar 25% performance for graphic representation while improving energy efficiency by 35%. The Snapdragon Elite package features new features for players, including screens with QHD + 144Hz resolution, 10-bit HDR games, Desktop Forward rendering support, Engine 4 games, and GPU updates through Google Play.
This last point is particularly impressive. Qualcomm has worked closely with Google to separate its Adreno GPU drivers from the rest of the system, allowing simple updates through Google Play. New features, performance improvements, and even game optimization can be offered quickly without the hassle of updating an application. This is another step towards mobile games.
Empowering next-generation artificial intelligence
The machine learning (or AI) capabilities of smartphones have skyrocketed in recent years, and Qualcomm (literally) is doubling the capabilities of this generation.
The new 698 hexagonal DSP has a unique traction accelerator specifically for machine learning. This new segment offers 4x Topps performance and 35% better energy efficiency than Qualcomm’s previous hexagonal DSP, which introduced a dedicated tension accelerator for the Snapdragon 855.
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However, machine learning is a systemic solution for Qualcomm. The company calls it its artificial intelligence engine and is entering the fifth generation with Snapdragon 865. The chipset includes a 3 MB system cache, compared to the previous 2 MB, and is compatible with LPDDR5 2750MHz RAM for move data faster than before. In combination with the CPU, GPU, and DSP / AI processing capabilities, 15 TOPS of AI performance are available. That is twice the price offered with the Snapdragon 855 and is far ahead of the competition.
While the industry is gradually moving towards integrated 5G modems, the Snapdragon 865, like its predecessor, requires an external modem for 5G connectivity. Qualcomm expects partners to connect the 865 Snapdragon X5 5G modem. Kirin 990, Exynos 990, and Snapdragon 765 combine 5G components but are easily half the speed of the X55. The X55 offers all the latest features of 5G, and we have to wait another year for them to integrate into the SoC.
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The Snapdragon X55 supports the mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum, just like its predecessor. Download the theoretical maximum speed of 7.6Gbps and upload it to 3Gbps. However, to reach such high speeds, you must perfectly align the conditions and capabilities of the network. Other essential features include free 5G (SA) and non-autonomous (NSA) network support, 5G FDD for Europe, 4G / 5G spectrum exchange, and 100MHz envelope tracking. In other words, here is everything you need to start working on global 5G networks.
The need for an external modem has some drawbacks for power consumption. The integrated modems are more efficient but aim at maximum performance with Qualcomm 865. Although the X55 is Qualcomm’s second-generation 5G modem, the Snapdragon 855 should improve energy efficiency concerning the X50 used with mobile phones. Qualcomm is advertised as a complete 5G “modem to antenna” solution for the 825. With modem for radio power, frequency tuning, and antenna packing, and 5G one-stop solution
Taking the perfect picture
Photography is one of the pillars of the modern smartphone experience, and without some image updates, a new processor would not be complete. The Snapdragon 865 Image Signal Processor (ISP) makes several significant changes. Includes support for 200MP camera sensors, 720p slow video recording at 960fps, 8K video capture at 30fps, Dolby Vision HDR on the device, and 64MP instant video recording.
Qualcomm has accomplished this by changing the internal affairs of its Spectra ISP. Instead of setting one pixel per clock cycle, Spectra ISP now works at four pixels per cycle. As a counterpoint, Qualcomm has reduced the ISP’s clock speed to more significant energy savings, increasing performance by up to two gigapixels per second by 40%. Energy-saving means a high ISP, so the ability to record 960 fps with no time limit.
The 855 ISP capabilities of computer vision of the Snapdragon 865 accelerate HDR processing, visual recognition, and low-light noise remain. In combination with the other 865 machine learning capabilities, 2020 phones are set to be computationally powerful. Be sure to review our interview with Judd Heap of Qualcomm, senior director of product management, to learn about all the features and products of the Snapdragon 865 camera’s capabilities.
Snapdragon 865 headphones for 2020
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is not interested in performance. From improving overall performance to the dedicated functions of AI, photography, and games, the 865 is superior to any demand you may request. However, the affordable Snapdragon 765 flagship also offers excellent performance and 5G capabilities, and the 865 is probably not the industry’s most changing chipset in the market next year.
Samsung will power the Snapdragon 865, Google, OnePlus, and others for a high-end smartphone launch in 2020. Expect to see the latest Qualcomm premium layer chip launch in the first quarter of 2020.