Published on December 3rd, 2020 | by Adrian Gunning
Qualcomm Redefines Premium with the Flagship Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform
During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit Digital 2020, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. introduced its latest flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform, which will set the benchmark for flagship smartphones in 2021. This new platform packs industry-leading mobile innovations in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), gaming, and camera technologies that will transform premium mobile devices into professional-quality cameras, intelligent personal assistants, and elite gaming rigs. Snapdragon 888 with advanced 5G connectivity will redefine today’s mobile experiences to usher in the future of enterprise mobility, video telephony, console quality cloud gaming, and more.
“Qualcomm’s history of breakthrough technology inventions has paved the way for our continued leadership in the premium-tier mobile segment,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile, compute and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The new flagship Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform will enable OEMs to further differentiate their devices and allows users to experience the latest cutting-edge mobile technologies.”
Snapdragon 888 Key Features
- Connectivity: Snapdragon 888 is the world’s most advanced platform that implements 5G, along with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth audio for enhanced mobile experiences. The integrated 3rd generation Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System enables support for 5G sub-6 carrier aggregation and mmWave to deliver the world’s fastest commercially available 5G speeds, up to 7.5 Gbps. The Modem-RF System also supports superior coverage across virtually all major networks worldwide – including nationwide 5G thanks to the use of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology. Snapdragon 888 is also unique in supporting Global 5G multi-SIM, which allows for international roaming, managing personal and work numbers on the same phone, or optimizing monthly subscription costs. Plus, this platform includes the recently debuted Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6900 Mobile Connectivity System, supporting the fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds of any mobile Wi-Fi offering in the industry (up to 3.6 Gbps), as well as new 6 GHz capacity with Wi-Fi 6E. FastConnect 6900 also delivers a new class of crisp, reliable and responsive audio with support for Bluetooth 5.2, dual Bluetooth antennas, Qualcomm® aptX™ suite, broadcast audio and advanced modulation & coding optimizations.
- AI: Snapdragon 888 takes the biggest architectural leap forward in AI. The completely re-designed 6th generation Qualcomm® AI Engine with the new Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 780 processor enables premium experiences that blend AI with professional cameras, personal voice assistants, elite gaming, lightning-fast connectivity and more. Snapdragon 888 delivers industry-leading power efficiency and performance with up to three times performance per watt improvement over the prior generation—all at an astonishing 26 TOPS. The platform is further enhanced by the 2nd generation Qualcomm® Sensing Hub, which integrates a dedicated low-power AI processor to enable use cases like screen awake, lift and activity detection, and audio event detection. This is achieved by using contextual awareness and combining new data streams like 5G, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Additionally, the new Qualcomm AI Engine Direct software will provide developers the flexibility to run their next generation on-device AI-powered apps at full-throttle.
- Camera: Snapdragon 888 transforms mobile devices into professional quality cameras. Featuring the new Qualcomm Spectra™ 580 ISP, this platform is the first Snapdragon with a Triple Image Signal Processor (ISP), capable of capturing from three cameras simultaneously at breakneck processing speeds—up to 2.7 gigapixels per second. Users can also enjoy 120fps burst snapshots for capturing ultra-fast high-resolution action shots, or capture three 4K HDR videos at the same time. New 4K HDR with computational HDR video capture provides dramatic improvements to colour, contrast, and detail. The Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP also debuts a new low light architecture, for brighter photos, even in near darkness. Also included is photo capture in 10-bit colour depth in the HEIF format – so you can capture photos in over a billion shades of colour.
- Gaming: Snapdragon 888 is armed with the full Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ arsenal. Users can harness the power of ultra-smooth play at the highest HDR quality graphics, with desktop-level capabilities. Snapdragon 888 delivers Variable Rate Shading (VRS) for the first time to mobile devices. In comparison to the prior generation, VRS improves game rendering by up to 30% for mobile’s most immersive experiences to date, while also improving power. Qualcomm® Game Quick Touch increases responsiveness by up to 20%, dramatically lowering touch latency and giving the ultimate advantage in multiplayer games. With the speeds and low latencies that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 deliver, elite gamers can unite or compete in real-time for unmatched global competition.
- Performance: Snapdragon 888 packs in major architectural advances. It is manufactured using the most advanced 5nm process technology, allowing breakthrough performance and superior power efficiency. The Qualcomm® Kryo™ 680 generates up to a 25% uplift in overall CPU performance and allows top frequencies of up to 2.84GHz. It is also the first commercial CPU subsystem to be based on the Arm Cortex-X1. The Qualcomm® Adreno™ 660 GPU achieves its biggest performance leap yet, delivering up to 35% faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation. More importantly, the Kryo 680 and Adreno 660 are able to sustain their performance over long periods of time, which is the hallmark of Snapdragon performance.
- Security: Snapdragon 888 includes many security measures for keeping on-device user data private including Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit, Qualcomm® Trusted Execution Environment, and support for Qualcomm® Wireless Edge Services – a cloud service that Snapdragon can interact with for apps and services to measure the security of the devices and its wireless connections in real-time for secure experiences. Snapdragon 888 features a new Type-1 Hypervisor, which provides a new way to secure and isolate data between apps and multiple operating systems on the same device. Additionally, in collaboration with Truepic, Snapdragon 888 can capture cryptographically-sealed photos that are compliant with the Content Authenticity Initiative standard, an open standard for digital content provenance led by Adobe.
Devices based on Snapdragon 888 are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2021. For more information, please visit: https://www.qualcomm.com/documents/qualcomm-snapdragon-888-mobile-platform-product-brief. Livestream replays will also be available on the Snapdragon Tech Summit Event Hub.
Battery life and storage varies significantly based on device, settings, usage, and other factors.