The day is finally here. Qualcomm unveiled its flagship SOC for next year’s Android flagships at its Virtual Tech Summit today & contrary to what most of us expected, this new chip is named the Snapdragon 888, not the 875. You might be thinking – Why Qualcomm skipped the 875 & chose the name to be Snapdragon 888? Well, the company told TechCrunch that “8” is a very special number for Qualcomm as it has stood for premium. It is also a lucky number in various regions like China. So, triple 8 (888) represents triple luck.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SOC comes with some significant upgrades over the 865, such as a 6th Generation AI Engine that can perform an impressive 26 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS). For comparison, the AI Engine of Snapdragon 865 SOC delivers a machine learning performance of 15 TOPS. There is also a new Image Signal Processor or ISP that can capture up to 2.7 gigapixels per second. Do you know what that means? Well, it means you can take 120 photos of 12 Megapixels each second! That’s incredible.
Just like the latest chipsets from Apple & Huawei, the Snapdragon 888 is built on the 5nm manufacturing process. The X60 5G Modem is fully integrated into the SOC & offers support for both sub-6GHz & mmWave 5G bands. If you don’t know, the Snapdragon 875 didn’t have an integrated 5G modem, so manufacturers had to use a separate 5G modem along with the SOC. There is 3rd Generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming as well to enhance the overall gaming experience.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SOC comes with the Kryo 680 CPU that is 25% faster than the previous generation & the Adreno 660 GPU that is 35% faster.
Lei Jun, the CEO of Xiaomi, announced at the event that the Xiaomi Mi 11 would be among the first smartphones that are launching next year with the Snapdragon 888 SOC. OnePlus also announced a Snapdragon 888-powered phone in the first half of 2021. Some other smartphone makers that Qualcomm mentioned include ASUS, Black Shark, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OPPO, Sharp, Vivo, and ZTE.