After a less than stellar year with the Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm has officially unveiled their top of the line System on Chip for 2016, the Snapdragon 820.

Starting with newer announcements, the Snapdragon 820 is Qualcomms first custom designed 64-bit chip. The Snapdragon 820 uses the Kyro CPU, a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, which offers twice the performance and efficiency of the Snapdragon 810 – a big, but welcome claim. The Kyro CPU is the next generation of custom processors, folowing on from the custom Krait processors used in the Snapdragon 800, 801, and 805.

The Kyro CPU uses a system manager to efficiently schedule tasks and enables intelligent power management on the CPU hopefully, which when paired with the 14nm FinFET process, should offer ‘significant’ improvement in battery life.

Also a new addition on the Snapdragon 820 is the Hexagon 680 DSP also brings significant improvement to performance and battery life. The Hexagon 680 DSP also offers ‘“always-on” low power-sensors and ultra-low power advanced imaging’. The Hexagon 680 DSP will also work in conjunction with the Spectra Camera ISP with HvX (Hexagon Vector eXtensions) offering improvements in camera output on both still and video. The 14-bit Spectra Camera ISP will support up to 28MP camera sensors.

Example of a low light video (left) improved with low light video processed by the Hexagon 680 DSP (right)
Example of a low light video (left) improved with low light video processed by the Hexagon 680 DSP (right)

The new SoC also means an update to the existing Adreno 430 GPU and the Adreno 530 GPU promises a 40% improvement on its predecessor, while still offering photorealistic computer generated graphics.

As previously announced, the Snapdragon 820 comes with integrated X12 LTE modem which offers support for up to Cat12 LTE giving users a 600Mbps downlink speed as well as LTE Cat 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbp, the Snapdragon 820 also supports carrier aggregation support for 3x20MHz.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 will fully support Quick Charge 3.0 with USB 3.0, as well as backwards compatibility to USB 2.0. Quick Charge 3.0 offers the ability to charge up to 40% faster than conventional charging.

Availability for the Snapdragon 820 hasn’t been announced, but Qualcomm has advised that we should see new devices using the SoC appearing in early 2016.

Source: Qualcomm.
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Brad Hook

Real disappointing Google didn’t wait for this monster for the Nexus 6P. I would have happily waited another couple of months. 🙁

John Bousattout

Cue the Sony-Nexus 5!