Qualcomm Friday unveiled the latest mobile platforms as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoCs. While the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is an upgrade to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is the successor to the Snapdragon 778G SoC. Qualcomm claimed that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is capable of 10 percent faster CPU performance and 30 percent improved power efficiency over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is touted to offer 20 percent faster graphics than its predecessor. In addition to the new mobile platforms, the chipmaker unveiled its Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform.
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Availability Timeline
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform will be used by smartphone brands, including Asus ROG, Black Shark, Honor, iQoo, Lenovo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Redmi, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Phones based on the new Snapdragon platform will debut in the third quarter of this year, Qualcomm said.
However, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 will be available in Q2 on phones from companies like Honor, Oppo, and Xiaomi.
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Specification
The new chip has the same architecture as the existing flagship Snapdragon model, with the same Kryo CPU and Adreno GPU. However, it has a higher clock speed to provide better performance. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 can be clocked up to 3.2GHz, which helps deliver up to 10 percent faster CPU performance than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 debuted in December. The San Diego-based company also claims that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is capable of providing up to 60 extra minutes of gameplay on a single charge.
In terms of photography, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 has the latest Snapdragon Sight technologies that enable 8K HDR video recording and HDR+ support. There’s the 18-bit triple ISP under the hood, which is claimed to offer up to 64-megapixel photos.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 also has the fourth-generation Snapdragon X65 5G Modem RF system that offers 5G speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 system also enables support for Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6. There is also Bluetooth v5.3 connectivity.
Qualcomm has integrated its Snapdragon sound technology into the new platform, which is claimed to help with high-resolution music playback, clear voice calls, and superior audio experience while playing games and videos. The proprietary technology also includes Qualcomm apX Lossless sound and LE Audio. This is claimed to allow over 17 hours of extended audio playback.
For on-device artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 features the seventh-generation Qualcomm AI Engine touted to enable up to 20 percent better performance per watt than its predecessor. There is also Quick Charge 5 connectivity.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is based on 4nm process technology and supports LPDD5 RAM with a frequency of up to 3200MHz and a capacity of up to 16GB. It also supports USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity and up to 4K display with a refresh rate of 60 Hz or a QHD+ production with a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz.
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Specifications
The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is designed with mobile gaming in mind. The chip houses some premium Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, including Adreno Frame Motion Engine, which is claimed to double the framerate to exclusive content. There is also support for Quad HD+ playback.
Qualcomm has integrated its Spectra triple ISP into the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 platform that supports up to three cameras and takes pictures with a resolution of up to 200 megapixels. The seventh-generation Qualcomm AI Engine also provides the Deep Learning Face Detect feature. It is claimed to be based on 300 face recognition points and helps deliver accurate autofocus even when wearing a mask.
The company claims that the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 has up to 30 percent improved AI performance over the Snapdragon 778G SoC launched last May.
The 4nm process-based Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is also the first model in the Snapdragon 7 series to feature a Dedicated Trust Management Engine and Android Ready SE for enhanced user security. Furthermore, there is the fourth-generation Snapdragon X62 5G Modem RF system for faster 5G support. The platform also comes with FastConnect 6900 for Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth v5.3 connectivity. The company also said that there’s also the Snapdragon Sound integration for a jitter-free audio experience.
Qualcomm’s Wireless AR Smart Viewer
In addition to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, Qualcomm has unveiled the Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design to help equipment and design manufacturers introduce new augmented reality (AR) glasses. The reference design is based on the Snapdragon XR2 platform. It features a 40 percent thinner profile and a more ergonomically balanced weight distribution over the previous AR Smart Viewer design powered by the Snapdragon XR1 platform.
The hardware of the Wireless AR Smart Viewer, developed by the Chinese company Goertek, includes a dual micro-OLED binocular screen that enables a resolution of 1,920×1,080 per eye and a frame rate of up to 90Hz. Qualcomm said that the glasses also have a no-motion blur feature to provide a seamless AR experience.
The reference design includes dual monochrome cameras and one RGB camera to enable head tracking and hand tracking with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) and gesture recognition.
Qualcomm has integrated its FastConnect 6900 to provide Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth support. The reference design also claims to have less than three milliseconds of latency between the connected smartphone and the displays.
It weighs 115 grams and has a frame thickness of 15.6 mm. There is also a 650mAh battery. The design can be combined with Qualcomm’s FastConnect XR Software Suite to provide better control and preferred channel access for XR traffic and purpose-built power modes.
Qualcomm has initially shipped its Wireless AR Smart Viewer to select partners, though wider availability will take place in the coming months.
The new solution’s goal is to drive AR device development. It will also help Qualcomm attract manufacturers exploring ways to enter the growing metaverse space.
The reference design could also help smartphone vendors and other market players build new devices competing with Apple’s rumored AR glasses.