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What’s New with the Snapdragon 888?

With Qualcomm announcing the Snapdragon 888 as its 2021 flagship processor, the San Diego-based chipmaker breaks down all the new things on the Snapdragon 888, and how it is vastly better than the Snapdragon 865. We break down for you all of the important things you need to know about Qualcomm’s newest flagship chip.

  • CPU. Aside from using a 5nm process, the Snapdragon 888 is the first processor to use ARM’s Cortex-X1 core, which serves as the Kryo 680 high performance core running a 2.84Ghz. Other cores include three Cortex-A78 performance cores running at 2.4Ghz and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores running at 1.8Ghz. With its core configuration, Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 888 performs 25% faster than its predecessor.
  • GPU. With the Adreno 660, the Snapdragon 888’s GPU performance is 25% better compared to its predecessor while being 25% more power efficient at the same time. The new GPU also improves gaming with native support for up to 144FPS, Variable Rate Shading (VRS), and Game Quick Touch for reducing touch latency of up to 20%.
  • Image processing. With the Spectra 580 DSP, the Snapdragon 888 is the first processor with Triple ISP, letting you utilize all three rear cameras simultaneously at up to 4K HDR or up to 28-megapixels. This is possible, as the Spectra 580 can process photos at up to 2.7 gigapixels per second, increasing its computational photography power by around 35%. One of its bragging rights? Capturing 12-megapixel photos at 120 frames per second.

  • Staggered HDR? Spectra 580 is bringing over native support for staggered HDR—another first for any chip. With this feature, the Snapdragon 888 can shoot 10-bit HEIF images and 10-bit HDR with computational HDR for both photos and videos. For this features, it is all up to manufacturers to equip their phones with cameras supporting the said features to make the most out of the Snapdragon 888’s imaging capabilities.
  • Improved connectivity. With the Snapdragon X60 modem, the Snapdragon 888 now has an integrated modem design. Using 3rd-generation mmWave and upgraded carrier aggregation, the Snapdragon X60 is capable of attaining download speeds up to 7.5 Gbps. Aside from global 5G connectivity with mmWave and Sub-6hz networks, the Snapdragon 888 also brings in support for WiFi 6, WiFi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.2.
  • Vastly improved AI. With a Hexagon 780 AI processor and sixth-generation AI Engine, the Snapdragon 888 can perform up to 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS), which is almost double than what the Snapdragon 865 is capable of. This improves the Snapdragon 888’s AI capabilities in all aspects, from small, hardware-based tasks to computational photography and gaming.

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