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Qualcomm hopes to bounce back with the Snapdragon 820


Qualcomm has officially launched the much anticipated successor to their Snapdragon 810 processor, the Snapdragon 820. Although a steady trickle of the processor’s specifications have been divulged by Qualcomm over the past few months, this is the Snapdragon 820’s actual “official” launch. Now that all it’s specs have been released, will it be the successor everyone has been waiting for?

The Snapdragon 820 will be made up of the new 14nm quad-core custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo CPU which can be clocked up to 2.2 GHz, a new Adreno 530 GPU which supports OpenGL ES 3.1+ and OpenCL 2.0 Full, the Hexagon 680 DSP which enables the CPU to offload more tasks for fast processor using less power, the new X12 LTE modem that boasts upload speeds of up to three times faster and 33% faster download speeds compared to the X10 LTE, along with several other upgraded components.


Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 820 has two times the performance and efficiency of the Snapdragon 810 while at the same time consuming 30% less power overall based on their own tests. According to Anandtech, new information on the Snapdragon 820’s CPU best describes it as an HMP solution with two high performance cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and two low-power cores clocked at 1.6 or 1.7 GHz.


The company also claims that the new Adreno 530 GPU boasts a significant boost in graphics performance, compute capabilities and power usage, recording a 40% improvement over the Adreno 430. Engadget reports that the 3D environments Qualcomm had running on the Snapdragon 820 reference tablets looked much more crisp and far more impressive than those running on the Snapdragon 810 last year, bordering on game console quality.

Keeping up with their attempt at making the most advanced mobile processor ever created, the Snapdragon 820 comes with support for 802.11ad WiFi and 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO. This allows WiFi speeds to be up to two or three times faster than existing 802.11ac without MU-MIMO. Qualcomm adds that consumers can expect 802.11ad routers to start appearing next year.

The chip’s model also sports improvements with support of LTE Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and LTE Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Qualcomm’s latest chip also supports LTE-U, which allows the chip to access LTE connections in both licensed spectrum and unlicensed spectrum — boosting connection speeds and mobile broadband access in normally congested areas.

Qualcomm’s new child also sports the company’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, Sense ID. For more information on Sense ID and how it works, we talked about it hereEngadget got a chance to witness this ultrasonic technology in action and remarked that it worked just as fast as Apple’s Touch ID implementation, adding that a little dirt on the Qualcomm’s reps fingers didn’t slow it down at all.

On paper, this new Snapdragon looks to be a significant improvement over its predecessor but whether it will become another hot topic like its predecessor remains to be seen.