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Qualcomm's next-gen processor is the Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm has unveiled a few details about its next-gen Snapdragon 888 processor on the first day of its annual tech summit.

Published onDecember 1, 2020

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 reference design
  • Qualcomm’s next-gen flagship processor is called the Snapdragon 888, rather than the 875.
  • The chipset supports the Snapdragon X60 5G modem, along with new AI and image processing components.
  • Full details will land in tomorrow’s keynote on December 2.

Update: December 2, 2020 at 10:24 a.m. ET: Qualcomm has unveiled more details about its next-gen processor. Read our Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 deep dive here, as well as our five key takeaways from the new processor here.

Original article: December 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. ET: Qualcomm has kicked off the first day of its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit with a virtual address from Qualcomm Incorporated President, Cristiano Amon. The headline announcement is the unveiling of its next flagship-tier mobile platform, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Qualcomm seems to have decided against the obvious Snapdragon 875 naming convention. However, this is still the premium chipset we were all expecting.

Full details about the chip are due out tomorrow. To tide us over, Qualcomm has dished out a few key facts about the Snapdragon 888.

First up, the Snapdragon 888 sports sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G via its Snapdragon X60 modem. The 5G modem provides multi-SIM support, improved carrier aggregation for fast data speeds, as well as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, to improve support with existing 4G networks. You can expect to hit those peak 5G speeds a little more consistently than the last generation.

Other headline improvements include new Snapdragon Elite Gaming features and faster graphics performance. This augments existing updatable GPU drivers, 144fps frame rates, and Desktop Forward Rendering. Performance improvements are also promised with the company’s sixth-generation AI engine. It boasts 26TOPs of machine learning compute. It also brings computational photography improvements from a new Spectra image processor that boasts 2.7 gigapixels per second of throughput. That’s enough to process 120 12MP images every second.

In addition to the above, we’re expecting brand new CPU cores inside the Snapdragon 888, as well as more details on the GPU, ISP, and AI processing components. Tune in at the same time tomorrow for all the ins and outs about the chipset, which is expected to power 2021 high-end Android smartphones.

Next: Snapdragon SoC guide: All of Qualcomm’s smartphone processors explained