Qualcomm, the manufacturer of Snapdragon processors, is a key player in the smartphone industry. The Snapdragon Tech Summit is among the most awaited events by tech enthusiasts and industry experts. It's the stage where Qualcomm typically reveals its latest processors, Chips, modems, etc.
The Summit is scheduled for October 24-26 this year, generating a buzz. Why? It's widely expected that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will enter during this event, promising to power the flagship smartphones in 2024.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 CPU Configuration: What's Cooking Inside?
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which currently powers some impressive smartphones, boasts a 1+4+3 CPU configuration - one powerful core, four medium cores, and three little cores. But the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is poised to shake things up.
The leaked information suggests a 1+3+2+2 CPU design. That's one potent core, three medium cores, and two little cores, twice over. The chip has been seen in the rumor mill and is identified as the SM8650 model number.
Here's another significant shift. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is expected to be a 64-bit-only design. In a world where technology constantly evolves, it's no surprise that the Android ecosystem has been moving towards 64-bit-only support. As of August 2021, the Play Store serves 64-bit apps to compatible devices. Even Arm, the giant in chip IP, initially dropped 32-bit support from its CPU roadmap.
Qualcomm is making some notable changes in its chip designs. Instead of sticking with 32-bit cores, they're embracing the power of the new ARMv9 CPUs. In this Shift, they're introducing the Cortex-A720 middle cores across two performance points. What does that mean? They opt for two cores with more substantial caches and faster clock speeds.
Alongside these powerhouses, they're incorporating three smaller configurations to create a chip that can seamlessly handle varying performance needs. The result? An SoC (System on a Chip) that's more versatile and capable of smoothly navigating the ever-changing performance/power curve.
They're also toying with the idea of using just two power-efficient cores, which, combined with the increasingly energy-economical mid-cores, could make having many little cores less of a necessity in modern chipsets.
The Role of Arm Cortex CPUs & AI Takes Center Stage with SD 8 Gen 3
When we talk about Snapdragon processors, the role of Arm Cortex CPUs cannot be understated. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will likely be powered by Arm's latest Cortex-X4, A720, and A520 CPUs. These are 64-bit cores that promise a significant performance boost. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 included 32-bit and 64-bit cores, but with the 64-bit-only approach, Qualcomm is gearing up for even greater processing capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzzword of the tech world in 2023, and it's not going away anytime soon. Smartphones are already equipped with impressive machine-learning capabilities.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon platforms have played a significant role in advancing AI capabilities, and this trend is expected to continue with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. As AI becomes more integral to our daily lives, it's crucial to have the processing power to support advanced AI models running on our devices. In May 2023, Qualcomm released a whitepaper that centered on the future of hybrid AI, which operates in both the cloud and on local devices.
Regarding AI improvements, the full scoop is still under wraps, and we'll have to play the waiting game until the big reveal. However, it's a safe bet that we can anticipate some impressive enhancements, particularly when bolstering the support for compressed AI models.
We've already seen what's possible with Stable Diffusion on a demo device, even though it had limited capabilities. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is already equipped to handle INT4, which is as compact as machine learning models get.
But it's not just about individual components; tighter integration between Qualcomm's Spectra ISP, Hexagon DSP, and Adreno 740 GPU might hold the key to unleashing some extra horsepower and delivering a significant boost in performance.
Connectivity and Beyond
Qualcomm knows that a smartphone isn't just about processing power. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will come with a robust connectivity suite. With the promise of Wi-Fi 7 support, compliance with the latest Wi-Fi standard, and a new Snapdragon X75 5G modem, Qualcomm ensures that your device stays connected to the world seamlessly.
The latest Bluetooth 5.4 standard also introduces features like Periodic Advertising with Responses and Encrypted Advertising Data, improving power efficiency and security in ultra-low power use cases.
Qualcomm's Adreno 740 may be a household name, but it recently appeared in the shadows of Arm's Immortalis G715 architecture, as featured in the MediaTek Dimensity 9200.
Arm's architecture is set to receive a significant boost with the upcoming Immortalis G720 GPU. While impressive, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 scored slightly lower than the Exynos 2200 of 2022, powered by the AMD Xclipse graphics chip, in the Basemark's InVitro test. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is expected to feature Dynamic Spatial Audio and Snapdragon Sound benefits.
We've already got Snapdragon Gen 4 rumors?
Here's the latest scoop on the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. According to the reliable source, Digital Chat Station, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, likely sporting the model number SM87505, is gearing up to introduce some remarkable changes. The big news is that Qualcomm's custom Nuvia CPU technology will power it.
This is groundbreaking because it would mark the first time a Snapdragon smartphone processor utilizes a Nuvia CPU. The insider hints at the processor's core configuration, with a notable 2+6 CPU core layout.
It's all set to make its grand entrance, with an expected announcement in late 2024, preparing to grace the phones of 2025 with its enhanced capabilities.
In a previous article, we already discussed Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 - Qualcomm's Budget-Friendly Solution, but here is the question: Will the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 live up to the hype and usher in a new era of mobile technology? The future certainly looks promising.