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Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor leaks: A 64-bit-only powerhouse?

Qualcomm might drop yet another little CPU core in favor of more horsepower.
By

Published onMarch 24, 2023

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC up close
TL;DR
  • Details for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor have apparently leaked online.
  • The new chipset will reportedly offer a 1+3+2+2 CPU design.
  • Qualcomm’s chipset will purportedly be a 64-bit-only design as well.

Qualcomm has long stuck with the same CPU layout for its flagship processors used in high-end phones, offering one powerful big core, three medium cores, and four little cores. That changed with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as the company switched to one big core, four medium cores, and three little cores.

Now, a new leak by tipster Kuba Wojciechowski on Twitter points to Qualcomm changing things up again for the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The leaker asserts that the new SoC has the model number SM8650, is codenamed Lanai, and will have a 1+3+2+2 CPU setup.

More specifically, Wojciechowski says Qualcomm will use two brand-new Arm CPU cores, namely one big Cortex-X core codenamed Hunter ELP (dubbed a Gold Plus core by Qualcomm) and five medium Cortex-A7xx cores. The five new Cortex-A7xx series cores are further divided into two so-called Titanium cores and three Gold cores. The tipster speculates that these Titanium cores might have higher clock speeds or more cache.

Otherwise, Wojciechowski asserts that Qualcomm will use two little Cortex-A5xx series cores codenamed Hayes. Hayes is the codename for a successor to the current Cortex-A510 core, suggesting that we’ll actually see three new Arm CPU cores in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. 

What does this mean for 2024’s phones?

Other claimed features include an Adreno 750 GPU (up from Adreno 740 in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2) and 64-bit app support only. The latter would be a major landmark for Android, as all current Android chipsets still support 32-bit operations. Google’s Pixel 7 series phones don’t support 32-bit apps, but the Tensor G2 processor still uses CPU cores with 32-bit support.

Nevertheless, this leak suggests we’ll see fewer little cores than ever before. It’s unclear what this purported switch to fewer little cores means for overall efficiency. Then again, more medium cores (particularly if the Titanium cores see a speed/cache boost) should result in even better multi-core performance metrics. Will this be enough to beat Apple, particularly in multi-core benchmarks? We’ll just have to wait and see.