Qualcomm Unveils New Snapdragon 888 SoC with Next Generation AI Engine & 5G Modem for Upcoming Flagships
Published : Sunday, 06 December, 2020Tuesday saw Qualcomm unveil its latest Snapdragon 888 5G SoC for flagship phones. The unveiling took place at a keynote event held virtually during the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020. This new chip replaces the SD 865 SoC, which was launched in 2019. The successor was originally supposed to be named SD 875 SoC. It has a 3rd Gen Qualcomm SD X60 5G modem, which is believed to be compatible with both sub-6 and mmWave networks in mobile communication bands around the world. The Qualcomm Spectra ISP will upgrade the SD 888 SoC’s photography and processing abilities as well.
The SD 888 also boasts of a 6th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine, which features a redesigned unique Qualcomm Hexagon processor capable of delivering innovative AI experiences to users. The chipset is a major leap forward from the SD 865, which was launched in December 2019.
Smartphone manufacturers including ZTE, Xiaomi, Vivo, Sharp, Realme, Oppo, OnePlus, Nubia, Motorola, Meizu, Lenovo, LG, Black Shark, and Asus have already begun integrating the SD 888 SoC into their flagship devices. Lei Jun, the CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi, spoke at the event where he confirmed that the Mi 11 would be among the first smartphones to feature the SD 888 SoC.
Qualcomm stated that the SD 888 SoC would provide a massive boost in power efficiency and performance, thanks to its advanced AI processing speed, which is estimated at around 26 tera operations per second (or TOPS). It also features a 2nd Gen Qualcomm Sensing Hub that enables always-on Artificial Intelligence processing at low power. The SD 888 SoC also features a 3rd Gen Qualcomm SD Elite Gaming engine targeted at mobile gamers, which offers desktop forward rendering, upgradable GPU drivers, and FPS rates going as high as 144 fps.
The Spectra ISP is a next-gen photography software and hardware bundle built into the SD 888 SoC, which has the ability to capture videos and photos at 2.7 gigapixels per second, meaning it can take 120 images at a 12MP resolution. The efficiency has increased by 35% compared to the previous version of this ISP, which was featured on the SD 865 SoC.
Qualcomm stated that the 3rd gen SD X60 5G modem system featured on the SD 888 SoC would ensure wider and easier 5G internet compatibility. This in-built modem offers support for dynamic spectrum sharing possibilities, standalone & non-standalone (NSA and SA) networks, global multi-SIM, and 5G mobile carrier aggregation.
Qualcomm demonstrated the advanced capabilities and features of the SD 888 SoC in the keynote event by showing 2 radio-controlled race cars, which used an SD 888 reference design and were connected to the Internet via a 5G mmWave network, with the operator located at a distance of 1 mile. Ericsson and Verizon collaborated with Qualcomm to build the 5G network, which enabled this experience. The reference SoC design also featured the Qualcomm Location Suite, which served to highlight the accuracy upgrade the latest round of developments had made possible.
More specifications regarding the SD 888 SoC are expected to be released in a few days by the company in an official announcement.