Qualcomm Is Counting Big On Snapdragon 820 – 5 Interesting Features Revealed So Far

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The success of upcoming Snapdragon 820 is quintessential to Qualcomm, which is also, perhaps, the most awaited chipset that is supposed to ship in all next year flagships. There is still some time before anyone gets to experience Snapdragon 820 in real world smartphones, and thus Qualcomm is dripping information piece by piece to keep the buzz alive.

Why is Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 important?

Qualcomm was leading the race, and by a margin, in a seemingly well-organized world of 32-bit smartphones. One of the primary reasons for this success was advanced customized ARM cores, which Qualcomm branded as Krait cores and used in its high end Snapdragon chips (Remember Snapdragon 800, 801 and 805).

As Apple dropped the 64-bit bomb with iPhone 5s, Android haphazardly followed suit, which resulted in all chipset makers licensing and using ARM cores directly off the shelf. This was the only way to churn out 64 bit chips fast and also resulted in mediocre Snapdragon chips spread across wide price spectrum. But all that is about to change. Qualcomm is now ready with its own customized 64 bit cores, called ‘Kyro cores’, which will ship in upcoming Snapdragon 820.

Expectations are sky high once again, and after the Snapdragon 810 fiasco (The chipset was plagued with several issues from day 1), Qualcomm can’t afford to disappoint. Now that we have discussed this brief history, it’s time to jump aboard the hype train.

Here is what’s coming …..

Double Battery Backup

Qualcomm claims that the new Kyro cores will be twice as power efficient, in spite of rendering 2X performance when compared to Snapdragon 810. Improved backup seems plausible since Qualcomm has switched from 20nm process technology to more power efficient 14nm FinFet manufacturing (Tipped to be using Samsung’s 2nd Gen 14nm Process), however, major contribution will come from heterogeneous computing.

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What this essentially means is that the Snapdragon 820 can take help from cores of Adreno 530 GPU, Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Imaging processor, for menial tasks, instead of waking up more power hungry primary processor.

Quick Charge 3.0

Over the last year, rapid charging has emerged as a solution for ever increasing power thirst of avid smartphone users. Qualcomm understands the game and presents Quick Charge 3.0, which is 4X faster than conventional charging, twice as fast as Quick Charge 1.0 and 38% more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0. 

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Besides bumping up charging speed, it will also improve fast charging quality by reducing power and heat dissipation. And the best part – It can be implemented even with USB Type-C or proprietary connectors. Besides Snapdragon 820, Quick Charge 3.0 will be available in other chipsets including 620, 618, 617, and 430.

Smart Protect 

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To protect your Android from Malware, Snapdragon 820 will debut with Smart protect technology based on ‘machine learning’. Technical jargon aside, this would mean that the new Qualcomm chip can understand your machine behavior and raise a red flag if any app behaves suspiciously. Qualcomm will also make an API public for other security companies to take advantage of.

Primed for VR

Virtual Reality (VR) experiences are indeed something each one can benefit from. There is a lot of work going on to make this a main stream thing and the new Snapdragons will play their part.

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The Adreno 530 GPU in 820 will be 40 percent more powerful than previous generation GPUs and benefits from improved digital Zoom. Qualcomm has also added a new Spectra imaging unit for more vivid colors. The GPU will efficiently run 4K resolutions thus sustaining demanding VR apps.

Advanced Connectivity

Snapdragon 820 will feature a new X12 LTE modem which can support upto 600 Mbps download and 150Mbps upload speeds. Also on the table is support for LTE-U and more advanced multi-gigabit 802.11ad WiFi.

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LTE-U will allow operators to deploy small, compact cell towers called “small cells” (similar in size to a Wi-Fi router) in areas with a lot of demand for LTE data, for example in an airport, a mall, or at a crowded city street corner. When in range of those LTE-U small cells, phones using Snapdragon 820 with X12 LTE processors will be able to connect using at least two LTE connections”, explains Qualcomm.

Wrap Up

As we inch closer to Snapdragon 820 shipment in smartphones, Qualcomm is expected to reveal more exciting information the new chipset. According to latest reports the chipset is twice as poweful as Exynos 7420 which leads among current Gen SoCs. Will it be good enough to score a spot in Galaxy S7? Do you think Qualcomm will once again rule the roost with the 820? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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