Qualcomm has officially confirmed that a next-generation Snapdragon processor will be unveiled at its technology summit on December 4. The announcement follows benchmark leaks of the Snapdragon 8150, which appears to hold a significant performance upgrade.
The announcement was spotted on Qualcomm’s Weibo page. If the leaks are to believed, the chip will be the first mobile Snapdragon chip on a 7nm process node. The Geekbench metrics so far put the 8150 about even with the Kirin 980, but just below Apple’s A12 and A12X chipsets.
Apple’s A12 was the first 7nm consumer chip. The breakthrough lets manufacturers fit more transistors on a chip, generally meaning more power at less cost. In some benchmarks, though, the 8150 appears to edge ahead. AnTuTu puts it at 362,292, the highest ever.
Neural Processing and Release Date
Leaks suggest the 8150 will also house a NPU or Neural Processing Chip for AI. This should increase AI performance above many current offerings. Like the Kirin 980, it will have a three-cluster CPU core design. The main core will apparently run at 2.84GHz, with three medium cores at 2.4 GHz and four small cores at 1.78 GHz.
All of this means the 8150 is likely to be flagship Android processor this year. However, phone manufacturers are also looking to find ways to use that extra power. Aside from occasional gaming, phone users don’t perform particularly intensive tasks.
However, with foldable phones on the rise, that could change. Samsung recently showed off its Galaxy X foldable, which folds between a tablet and a phone. It’s likely to be very expensive, but it’s a place more powerful chips could really shine. Obviously, the AI speed boosts will also be a plus on pretty much any phone.
Though Qualcomm will announce its chip on December 4, it’s unclear when the first devices will actually launch. Meizu CEO Jack Wong says his company will release the Meizu 16s with the chip in May, but others could come before then.