It’s finally here – after several months of speculation and leaks, Qualcomm has officially announced its newest and most powerful mobile SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It brings a ton of performance improvements over its Snadragon 8 Gen 1 and 8 Gen+ 1 predecessors, and Qualcomm is going all-out with its newest portable processing powerhouse. The new chipset was unveiled during the 2022 Qualcomm Summit held in Hawaii.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Quick Facts:
- Faster natural language processing with multi-language translation and revolutionary INT4 support.
- Snapdragon Sight technology additions include new Cognitive ISP powers for real-time semantic segmentation for photo and video capture.
- Snapdragon Elite Gaming features industry standard real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing capabilities.
- Snapdragon Connect enhancements include the world’s first 5G AI processor in a mobile platform, and the only commercial Wi-Fi 7 SoC with High Band Simultaneous Multi-Link.
- Snapdragon Sound technology supports spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for immersive gaming and multimedia experiences.
- Expected to launch in commercial devices by the end of 2022.
Qualcomm wasted no resources in giving users the upgrade they deserve with the 8 Gen 2, not only with performance upgrades, but smart features as well. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 comes with the Qualcomm® AI Engine, and is powered by the upgraded Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, allowing users to experience faster natural language processing, multi-language translation, as well as advanced AI camera features.
The Hexagon processor features brand new upgrades to the architecture, including micro tile inferencing and a bigger tensor accelerator for up to 4.35X increased AI performance. This is also the first Snapdragon mobile platform to support INT4, which comes with 60% performance/watt improvement for sustained AI inferencing. The chipset also features the latest Qualcomm Sensing Hub, which now comes with dual AI processors, and support for intuitive experiences that enable custom wake words.
Photo and Video
As mobile photography performance has become an increasingly crucial factor in most smartphones in the past few years, Qualcomm has included its Snapdragon Sight platform with the 8 Gen 2, which comes with a cognitive ISP. This enables the chipset to automatically enhance photos and videos using semantic segmentation, which uses an AI neural network to allow a device’s camera to contextually recognize faces, features, backgrounds, and more, resulting in specialized image tuning.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also built to support new image sensors, such as Sony’s quad digital overlap HDR technology and Samsung’s ISOCELL HP3, to name a couple. This is also the first Snapdragon chip to include an AV1 codec with support for video playback, at up to 8K HDR at 60 frames per second.
Gaming & Performance
Gamers will find a lot to love with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as it comes with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Elite Gaming features. This includes real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing that allows for impressive lighting and reflection effects, which until now have been rare in mobile games. Additionally, the upgraded Qualcomm Adreno GPU promises up to 25% faster performance, alongside the Qualcomm Kryo CPU which enables up to 40% more power efficiency, for longer battery life.
In terms of graphical prowess, the new SoC also comes with support for the Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans Framework, allowing for photo-realistic characters in games.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the world’s most advanced 5G platform, with advanced 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities. The chip is equipped with the Snapdragon X70 5G Modem-RF System, alongside the Qualcomm® 5G AI Processor – this allows the 8 Gen 2 to reach optimal 5G upload and download speeds, coverage, latency, as well as power efficiency during usage.
This is also the first Snapdragon platform to support 5G+5G/4G Dual-SIM Dual-Active, which can use two 5G SIMs at once. This is in addition to Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7800 system, which brings low-latency Wi-Fi 7 and dual Bluetooth connectivity for sustained connectivity.
Audio and Security
As for audio, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will come with support for Snapdragon Sound technology, which features spatial audio complete with dynamic head-tracking for surround-sound immersion, as well as support for 48kHz lossless music streaming. It’s also ideal for gaming with a low latency of 48ms, alongside a built-in voice backchannel for communication between players.
Qualcomm has also brought some much-welcome improvements in terms of security with Snapdragon Secure, which offers the latest in isolation, cryptography, key management, attestation, and more, all designed to protect user data and privacy.
Partners and Launch
With all that said, we can expect the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to launch in a multitude of devices from brands and OEMs including Motorola, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Vivo, ASUS, Honor and Sharp, to name a few. Users looking forward to grabbing a phone powered by the new chipset should keep an eye out, as Qualcomm says that we’ll soon see the chipset in a few devices by the end of 2022.