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Snapdragon 855 to have octa-core design, December reveal in Hawaii?


The Qualcomm Snapdragon logo.

  • Qualcomm’s next flagship processor will reportedly have an octa-core design.
  • The heavyweight cores are said to run at 2.6Ghz, while the low-power cores are tipped to run at 1.7Ghz.
  • It’s also believed that the new chipset will have a neural processing unit.

We all know that Qualcomm is working on a Snapdragon 845 successor, expected to power loads of smartphones in 2019. A new leak has shed more light on this upcoming chipset, reportedly dubbed the Snapdragon 855 or Snapdragon 8150.

According to German tech website WinFuture, the Snapdragon 855/8150 will feature an octa-core design of four low-power and four heavyweight cores. The low-power cores are apparently clocked at 1.7Ghz, while the heavyweight cores top out at 2.6Ghz.

By comparison, the Snapdragon 845’s low-power cores hit 1.77Ghz, while the top-end cores run at 2.8Ghz. This doesn’t necessarily mean the new chip will see lower clock speeds, as these figures reportedly come from a test platform. Additionally, architectural improvements could mean the cores don’t need higher clock speeds, either.

A big boost for CPU power?

The Snapdragon 845.

The Snapdragon 845 processor.

WinFuture says the low-power cores are dubbed Silver cores, while the high-power cores are called Gold cores. This isn’t surprising, as Qualcomm has used this naming convention for a couple of years now.

We don’t have any other core details but, since the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm has tweaked Arm’s existing CPU cores rather than creating a fully custom design from scratch. So we’d expect the Silver and Gold cores to be semi-custom versions of Arm’s Cortex-A55 and Cortex-A76 respectively.

Qualcomm has previously used a tweaked version of the Cortex-A55 as the low-power core in its Snapdragon 845, but the move to a semi-custom Cortex-A76 big core would theoretically deliver big gains. The Cortex-A76 is expected to deliver a 35 percent performance boost and a 40 percent efficiency boost over the Cortex-A75. In fact, Arm has suggested that it could bring laptop-class performance to the table.

The outlet also reiterates its previous claim that the Snapdragon 855/8150 will pack a neural processing unit (NPU). In other words, the chipmaker looks set to join MediaTek and Huawei in offering dedicated AI silicon. And with Samsung tipped to join the NPU party as well, it looks like AI chips are being embraced by loads of players. It’s unclear whether Qualcomm will use its own technology for the NPU, but it could conceivably license Arm’s Project Trillium machine learning silicon.

The website adds that the new chip is being built on a 7nm manufacturing process, which would line up with Qualcomm’s previous statement. The company issued a press release back in June, confirming that an unnamed next-generation Snapdragon chipset would feature a 7nm design and support for the 5G-capable X50 modem.

So when will the Snapdragon 855 (or whatever it’s called) be officially revealed? WinFuture points to an early December event in Hawaii, which would be the same timeframe and venue as the Snapdragon 845 launch.

NEXT: Mate 20, OnePlus 6T, and more — Every phone launching in October 2018





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