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’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
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.
Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator Comes To Photoshop
The Generative Fill tool will arrive in the app’s tool palette sometime in the second half of this year.
Adobe Photoshop is the latest app to benefit from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, gaining a new tool called Generative Fill. The company’s AI image generator Firefly benefitted from the new feature in a web-only update back in March, and today, the Generative Fill tool launches in beta for the popular photo editing program.
Generative Fill is a little like a smarter version of Adobe’s existing Content-Aware Fill feature and works within individual Photoshop image layers. The tool can be used to expand the borders of an image (a feature known as outpainting) or to generate entirely new objects, and contains a text prompt to add direction to the AI technology.
Adobe claims its AI is only trained to work on Adobe Stock images, licensed content, and images without copyright restrictions. Generative Fill also supports a system called Content Credentials, which attaches metadata-style attributes to images before they are shared online, informing viewers that content was created or edited with the help of AI.
“By integrating Firefly directly into workflows as a creative co-pilot, Adobe is accelerating ideation, exploration and production for all of our customers,” announced Ashley Still, the senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe. “Generative Fill combines the speed and ease of generative AI with the power and precision of Photoshop, empowering customers to bring their visions to life at the speed of their imaginations,” she added.
Also Read: PicSo Review: A Popular AI-Based Text-To-Image App
Generative Fill isn’t yet available in the latest version of Photoshop, but if you’re curious about how the tool works, you can download the desktop beta app or try it out within a module of the Firefly beta. Adobe is still tight-lipped about the exact release date of Generative Fill, but says we can expect the new feature to drop sometime in the second half of 2023.