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The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could finally gain a key missing feature

Better video streaming quality could be on the way for Qualcomm's chipsets, catching up to Samsung and MediaTek.

Published onFebruary 21, 2022

Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders logo light closer up
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship SoC will reportedly gain AV1 support.
  • This allows for more efficient video streaming, with YouTube and Netflix supporting it.
  • Samsung and MediaTek have both supported this standard for over a year now.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon flagship processors are great all-round chipsets, offering good CPU performance, class-leading GPUs, and fantastic connectivity. But one feature it’s lacked for a couple of years now is support for the AV1 video codec.

Now, Protocol has reported that the next-generation flagship Snapdragon SoC, code-named SM8550 (presumably the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2), will support AV1 decoding. The outlet cited a source who saw the chipset’s spec sheets.

Why does AV1 matter?

The AV1 codec offers better video quality for the same file size and the same quality at a smaller file size. In fact, it’s ~30% more efficient than the H.265 codec. This is handy for streaming in particular, with the likes of Netflix and YouTube already supporting AV1.

Qualcomm wouldn’t be the first SoC maker to support AV1 decoding though. MediaTek has supported the standard since 2020’s Dimensity 1000 series, while Samsung has supported it since the Exynos 2100 series. So the Snapdragon maker would be catching up to rivals in this regard. 

The news also comes a couple of months after Protocol reported that Google was readying a Chromecast with Google TV that would offer AV1 support. Hopefully, this is just the start of AV1 becoming mainstream. Now, about more streaming services and device manufacturers supporting the codec.

Do you care about AV1 support on your devices?

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