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Qualcomm Unveils Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Processor

The new chip features hardware ray tracing, powerful AI capability, Wi-Fi 7, and a ton of raw power.



qualcomm unveils latest snapdragon 8 gen 2 processor

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit (held simultaneously in China and Hawaii) has kicked off in style this year, with the announcement of the company’s latest system-on-chip (SoC) smartphone processors. The newest line of chips is known as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and will deliver significant improvements in performance and efficiency, as well as being what Qualcomm describes as “purpose-built for AI.”

The new chip boasts a 4.35x improvement in performance and a staggering 60% boost to its power-per-watt efficiency. Snapdragon 8 gen 2 will also feature dedicated AI processing in the modem portion of the chip, improving throughput and range, and supporting 10Gbps speeds.

Graphics (GPU) performance will also receive a considerable spec bump, with the new chip featuring an improved Adreno GPU with hardware ray tracing that only draws a measly 5w of power. According to Qualcomm, the updated GPU also supports “Vulkan 1.3, HDR Vivid, Adaptive HDR, OLED aging compensation, and Unreal Engine 5 MetaHumans, with a 25% increase in performance and power efficiency.”

Other upgrades to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 include Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, dual Bluetooth, a new 3.2GHz Arm Cortex X3 high-performance core, and support for dynamic spatial audio.

AI Processing Power

snapdragon 8 gen 2 ai performance

As well as a substantial overall boost to specs, Qualcomm is keen to show off Snapdragon 8’s AI engine, which features a dedicated power plane and double the power from the chip’s tensor processing cores. Thanks to a feature known as Hexagon Direct Link, fast, real-time AI processing will be possible, which will aid the chip when put to work on complex tasks such as text-to-speech, photography, and other power-hungry computational tasks.

Improved Sensor Hub

Finally, Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 chip will also use its updated AI smarts to enable real-time monitoring, allowing devices equipped with the processor to utilize the camera even while sleeping. This feature will allow QR codes to be scanned, and add the ability to actively monitor user activity, meaning notifications won’t appear to unauthorized viewers.

So when can we expect manufacturers to start using the new Snapdragon chip? Qualcomm has already partnered with the likes of OnePlus, Motorola, Sony, and Asus. That means we might see newly updated phones shipping by the end of the year — though if you’re a Samsung fan, you might have to wait until 2023 to see the processor in action in the Galaxy S23 series.


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