Snapdragon 808 and 810 unveiled: 20-nm, 64-bit beasts coming early next year

by: Bogdan PetrovanApril 7, 2014

qualcomm snapdragon 810

Qualcomm just lifted the veil on the systems-on-a-chip that will power the wave of Android flagships coming in 2015.

The new Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 will be leaps and bounds ahead of the current crop of high-end Snapdragon SoCs, in almost all areas, including architecture, core number, GPU, and features. Qualcomm uncharacteristically released details of the new 808 and 810 very early, which is probably an answer to the moves of competitors like MediaTek and Nvidia, as well as to Apple’s surprise jump to 64-bit on the iPhone 5S.

Snapdragon 810

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994) is the higher-end of the pair, a successor of sorts to the Snapdragon 805, which will only become available starting this summer. Main features of the 810 include:

  • CPU: 4 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (octo-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
  • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
  • GPU: Adreno 430
  • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-1600
  • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
  • eMMC interface: 5.0
  • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
  • Camera ISP: 14-bit dual-ISP
  • H.256 encode/decode: yes/yes

Snapdragon 808

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 differs from the 810 through several features, mainly a different core arrangement and slightly slower GPU and memory interface. Here’s the breakdown:

  • CPU: 2 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (hexa-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
  • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
  • GPU: Adreno 418
  • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-933
  • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
  • eMMC interface: 5.0
  • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
  • Camera ISP: 12-bit dual-ISP
  • H.256 encode/decode: no/yes

What kind of performance and features can we expect?

The bulk of the processing tasks in both the 808 and the 810 will be handled by the two, and respectively four, Cortex A57 CPU cores, combined in a big.LITTLE setup with four Cortex A53 cores. In a big.LITTLE arrangement, the two clusters of cores can operate together for maximum performance, or only one of them can run, depending on the task. On the 810 and 808, all cores in a cluster run at the same frequency.

The Cortex A57 provides a 25 – 55 percent performance boost over the Cortex A15, along with a 20 percent increase in power draw. However, because the 810 and 808 will be built on a 20nm process, instead of 28nm on current SoCs, power consumption should be offset overall.

snapdragon 810 die shot

With the Snapdragon 808 and 810, Qualcomm adopted a standard ARM architecture, instead of its Krait cores; the company will probably unveil Krait chips later in the year.

The Adreno 418 GPU on the Snapdragon 808 should provide a 20 percent performance boost over the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 801 (currently used on the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, etc.). The Adreno 430 GPU on the 810 is even faster, with an estimated 80 percent increase over Snapdragon 801.

qualcomm snapdragon 810 2

Thanks to built-in hardware, both chips will be able to decode (play) video in the H.265 codec, but only the higher-end 810 will be able to encode (shoot in) H.265 encoding. The Snapdragon 805, due this summer, only offers H.265 video decoding.

The incorporated LTE modem (built on 20nm as well) will offer improved carrier aggregation, allowing up to three segments of spectrum to be used together for higher transfer speeds, compared to two segments on the current chips.

Finally, phones equipped with the Snapdragon 808/810 will be able to make real time image calculations faster than the current crop, thanks to the improved ISP throughput, which is 20 percent larger on the 810 compared with the current 805.

Some of the features you see listed in the image above, such as gestures support, ultrasound pen support, and Ultra HD capture and playback will be available on Snapdragon 805 devices, as the recently released development platform tablet shows.

As for precisely when we can expect this new class of SoCs from Qualcomm, AnandTech estimates there will be roughly a year between the Snapdragon 801 (released in late February at MWC) and the Snapdragon 810, while the Snapdragon 808 will follow soon after.

  • Mozaik

    BUT BUT… 64bit is gimmick qualcomm guys said to us ;). Sad that guy got fired. Alas , powerful chip but i want to see how it fair’s against tegra k1 in gpu compartment.

    • Guest

      The guy was a VP. You dont fire top level executives over some PR fail…

      • Mozaik

        I meant to say soft fired ;).

    • duck hairs

      They also said octa core was and yet here we are

      • [S]unjay Burn[s] Red

        This isn’t a “real” octocore processor. More like two sets of quadcores. MediaTek has a real octocore processor.

        • duck hairs

          Well no. This can have all 8 cores online at once thus its an octa core chipset, not like Samsung’s first little big exynos chip.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Maybe but I hope they’re good at running 64 bit header processing and 32 bit secondary processing, ie different bit rates from different CPU cores.

    • Tjaldid

      4GB Ram is available by the end of this year all though this will offer performance boost nonetheless.

      • Mozaik

        I was joking ;) , But how many phones will have it ???

        • Tjaldid

          made by Samsung so I would say GS Note 4 and the phones in the following year

          • Mozaik

            One only , will developer utilize it for one phone.

          • guy with guts

            this is 2015 stuff.

          • Tjaldid

            the 4GB Ram isn’t, unless 805 doesn’t support LPDDR4

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Also yup, 192 Nvidia GPUs in K1, is equal to 384 smaller AMD GPUs, how many ARM GPUs is that equal to.

  • Anonymousfella

    64 bit octa-core but no HMP? Interesting choice.

  • chipped

    Too little too late. Apple is destroying snapdragon per core performance. Even being clcked at 1.3GHz. A8 will be a quad core and maybe clocked higher.

    • fresbee

      Said one with 5 guest votes, lol. I don’t vote you up, to be clear

    • Mike Ennamorato

      The only reason the A7 is so fast is the new ARMv8-A architecture, and the Power VR gpu. When Qualcomm gets ARMv-A, prepare to be amazed. Apple also has great optimization on their devices at the cost of being a closed source OS.

    • Arslan Jumaniyazov

      What difference does it make that A7 is more powerful than Snapragon 800 in per core performance when Apple’s dual core chip is the same size as Qualcomm’s quad-core chip?

    • Raffael Oliveira Sousa

      Intel is coming my friends and they bring a 14nm x64 quad core CISC processor. Apple and Qualcomm will both seams like gimmick.

      • chipped

        Old news and inaccurate buddy. The new Intel SoC is similar in speed to the A7. The A8 will destroy it too ;)

        • stucrmnx120fshwf

          Actually Apple is coming back to Samsung, to make their chips, because Sammy baby has 14 nm stuff near ready, for Apples tweaked ARM designs.

          • chipped

            Samsung has always manufactured Apple’s chips. A4 and onwards, Apple has designed the chips and Samsung simply manufactures them.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Tweaked I say, tweaked, did Apple develop WiFi ac, LTE Advanced, GPUs, ARM 32 bit or 64 bit CPUs. Sammy developed the screens, flash, RAM, batteries that they use, they ought to get some real intellectual property. They should buy AMD and or Nvidia, Qualcomm, ARM, Intel, they have tons of capital reserves and some of these companies are going for a song. At asset stripping, bargain prices, someone is going to realize, that the emperor of high prices, has no clothes. No offense, what you say is technically correct. In the future Apple won’t have developed ultra definition, LPDDR4, either.

          • chipped

            Tweaked? Lol. That’s a bit of an understatement, the ones who tweak is Samsung. They use pretty much reference ARM CPU designs. One time they tried to do something different in their first Octa core Exynos, and they fucked it up hard, they just gave up and went to ARM’s big.LITTLE hehe…

            Apple are smart, they develop what they need, why spend money on R&D when there are others out there who can do it for you and experienced.

            I do like Samsung products, just not all of them. To be honest most things they design are just average or gimmicks though, never seen something truly revolutionary or impressive for them.


          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            I’m a Nexus fan gets updates as fast as Apple stuff, no lousy manufacturer or phone company skin, as long as you buy it outright. Only Sammy product I like is Nexus 10, too expensive at release, but I got mine cheap recently for $300, good price for 2K resolution. Also have a Nex 5 and 7 FHD 2013; have had a Nex 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nex 7 original in 32 GB and 8 GB. Apples advantage is cradle to grave control, like Nexus, makes for more reliability and simplicity. But I wouldn’t pay that price for it, huge profit margins, poor RAM, scandalous flash memory prices, so huge capital reserves, best to use it to strip real IP, from big cheap innovators. Original iPad mini awful, but new one quite attractive, if you have the money. Thin, 4G, resolution display, not ridiculous price, like iPad full size. Hate iPhone, joke size screen, joke RAM, Apple UHD TV, may be good at $1,000, I have a cheap 39″ UDTV, trying to source 4K Android TV box, S802 quad core looks good. Desktops are nightmares, they’re all bad, Microsoft, Apple, Ubuntu, Mint / Linux, I say that as a dip elect comp tech net admin spec. I built 200 computers, nowadays it’s just awful, bloatware, crashtastick, rubbish, the mobile devices have it right, KISS, keep it simple stupid, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. Hope you found my technobable amusing, used to be hardware jockeys supplied 10 times the power, software monkeys made it twice as user friendly. Now you give them 10 times the power, they make them 3 times as user unfriendly.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            Apple’s using both Samsung and TSMC for ARM chip mfg now and both companies are constantly upgrading the plants to get to the next nm size.

  • guy with guts

    here comes the Dragon roaring. but i’m a bit disappointed that it is octa core useless sh*t.

    • Christian Koch

      I would bet they work very closely with Google, and Android (4.)5 will have strong support for Multicore CPUs (wishful thinking…)

  • nytimes

    I was stumped by these not having integrated Wi-Fi modules!

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Yup SOC integration is the way to improve power consumption and reliability, amazed at how small an area is taken up by the CPUs.

  • filaos

    WTF ? What about custom cores ?
    No successor for Krait ?

    • AdazeeI

      Krait cores are coming, but they are not ready yet.

  • Itamar Baum

    No new phone for me this year, I’ll wait till the 64bit arrives :-)

    My dear nexus 5, please do not break. I will need for for another year at least.
    (who am I kidding, it took me 9 years to upgrade to the nexus 5 from my old dumb phone, I will probably update when Android Waffles comes out.

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      I respectfully suggest if you got the $ live a little :-) that’s if you get off on smart phones as much as the rest of us seeing your on this site. Life’s short, upgrade twice next year. Sell the phone on Craigslist and pay the difference.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        In Australia my 16 GB Nexus 4 only cost $320 and I sold it for $200 so when my 32 GB Nexus 5 cost $ 470, really I only had to spend $270. Always get maximum flash, upgrade your software for best customer satisfaction ratings .

      • Itamar Baum

        Just to update I’m probably selling my nexus for 1200 shekels (bought it for 400$ and that is about 1600 shekels). And will buy the 6

    • Grman Rodriguez

      Up voted because of Android Waffles :)

      • Uriel Cordova

        hahaha android waffles XD

  • peekoro

    So no custom cores? Besides GPU wouldn’t this mean all CPUs coming out using the same arm designs will have basically the same CPU performance? (Given the frequency being the same.)

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Congratulations website you lost my comment again, let’s try again, lusting after 14 nm LPDDR4 RAM, cool UD and 64 bit. But 20 nm in a year, when 3 chip makers have all spent 10 billion a piece on 14 nm. Thanks for the specs Bogdan.

  • Kartiké Bhagat

    It’s H.265, not 256.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    Why does Qualcomm annunce things so early? So people can make the idea that their phones are already obsolete?