At its annual Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii earlier this week, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845, but the only details it released was that the chip would appear in Xiaomi’s Mi 7. Now, the company has given us the full rundown of its next-generation SoC, which will power 2018's flagship handsets.
The Snapdragon 845, which is built on Samsung’s second-gen 10nm LPP process, features a Kryo 385 CPU—an upgrade from the 835’s Kryo 280. There are still eight cores, but the four performance cores are now running at up to 2.8GHz while the four efficient cores can reach 1.80GHz. That represents a 30 percent improvement in high-power cores, with the low-power cores about 15 percent quicker than those in the Snapdragon 835.
Qualcomm promises a 25 percent “performance uplift” over the Snapdragon 835, as well as 30 percent better power-efficiency when it comes to intensive tasks such as video capture, games, and mixed reality.
The previous gen’s Adreno 540 graphics core is replaced with a new Adreno 630 GPU, which again brings a 30 percent performance increase.
One of the most interesting elements of the Snapdragon 845 is its Spectra 280 image signal processor. The ISP can capture images at up to 16 MP at 60 images per second, as well as high-definition slow-motion video at 480FPS. As for its high-dynamic-range capabilities, the Spectra 280 can record 4K HDR video at 60FPS—a smartphone first—and capture 64 times more HDR color information compared to the Snapdragon 835.
When it comes to security, Qualcomm has built a “secure vault” within the Snapdragon 845. This “secure processing unit” is an isolated core with its own CPU, embedded private RAM, crypto engine, random number generator and power supply, bringing improved biometric support and encryption.
An X20 LTE modem replaces the 835’s X16, bringing support for 5x Carrier Aggregation and peak speeds of 1.2Gbps. It also has support for dual-SIM connectivity.
Some other notable features include support for Quick Charge 4+, which enables a 50 percent charge in 15 minutes, an increased focus on AR and VR technologies, and improved AI through the third-gen Hexagon Vector DSP.
Here’s Qualcomm’s list of the Snapdragon 845’s features:
Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP
- Ultra HD premium capture
- Qualcomm Spectra Module Program, featuring Active Depth Sensing
- MCTF video capture
- Multi-frame noise reduction
- High performance capture up to 16MP @60FPS
- Slow motion video capture (720p @480 fps)
- ImMotion computational photography
Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem
- 30% improved graphics/video rendering and power reduction compared to previous generation
- Room-scale 6 DoF with SLAM
- Adreno foveation, featuring tile rendering, eye tracking, multiView rendering, fine grain preemption
- 2K x 2K @ 120Hz, for 2.5x faster display throughput
- Improved 6DoF with hand-tracking and controller support
Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 685 DSP
- 3rd Generation Hexagon Vector DSP (HVX) for AI and imaging
- 3rd Generation Qualcomm All-Ways AwareTM Sensor Hub
- Hexagon scalar DSP for audio
Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem
- Support for 1.2 Gbps Gigabit LTE Category 18
- License Assisted Access (LAA)
- Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared radio spectrum
- Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE (DSDV)
- Multigigabit 11ad Wi-Fi with diversity module
- Integrated 2x2 11ac Wi-Fi with Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) support
- 11k/r/v: Carrier Wi-Fi enhanced mobility, fast acquisition and congestion mitigation
- Bluetooth 5 with proprietary enhancements for ultra-low power wireless ear bud support and direct audio broadcast to multiple devices
Secure Processing Unit
- Biometric authentication (fingerprint, iris, voice, face)
- User and app data protection
- Integrated use-cases such as integrated SIM, Payments, and more
Qualcomm Aqstic Audio
- Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec(WCD934x):
- Dynamic range: 130dB, THD+N: -109dB
- Native DSD support (DSD64/DSD128), PCM up to 384kHz/32bit
- Low power voice activation: 0.65mA
- Dynamic range: 109dB, THD+N: -103dB
- Sampling: Up to 192kHz/24bit
Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+
Kryo 385 CPU
- Four performance cores up to 2.8GHz (25 percent performance uplift compared to previous generation)
- Four efficiency cores up to 1.8GHz
- 2MB shared L3 cache (new)
- 3MB system cache (new)
10-nanometer (nm) LPP FinFET process technology