Articles by "Qualcomm"

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Showing posts with label Qualcomm. Show all posts

2019 is going to be the year of 5G—at least, that's what the cellular industry keeps saying. We're going to see the launch of several 5G smartphones from OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, and carriers will be tripping over themselves to tell you how awesome their new 5G networks are despite coming with a slew of asterisks. I would like to make something up about how ridiculous the 5G hype has gotten, but it's hard to top actual quotes from industry executives, like Verizon's claim that 5G will "dramatically improve our global society." Faster mobile Internet is coming, but should you care about it yet?

Qualcomm recently had its big 2019 chip announcement, and as the world's biggest provider of smartphone chips, that gives us a good idea of what the upcoming 5G hardware will look like. The industry is doing its best to hype 5G up as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for a year or two.
5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.
5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

A 5G mmWave primer: Making use of the spectrum that nobody wanted

"5G" is a shorthand reference to the next generation of cellular network technology that is launching in 2019. The whole "G" naming scheme started in the 1990s with the launch of GSM, which was called the "second generation"—aka "2G"—of mobile networking technology. GSM upgraded early networks from analog to digital, and those old analog networks were retroactively given the name "1G." Since then, we've gotten new "G" numbers with major coordinated network upgrades about every 10 years. These iterations brought important features like SMS and MMS messages, IP-based networking and mobile Internet, and, of course, more speed.

Today, modern smartphones run on "4G" LTE, which operates somewhere in the 450MHz to 5.9GHz range. The move to 5G will include improvements to the existing LTE infrastructure, but the defining characteristic of 5G is the addition of a new chunk of spectrum in the 24GHz to 90GHz range. The industry has settled on calling this new 5G spectrum "mmWave" (millimeter wave), and it's going to require new hardware in your phone, new hardware on the towers, and big changes to current phone and network designs.

We're used to these "G" network upgrades coming with a compelling sales pitch about how much better everything is going to be, but the move to 5G mmWave is not a slam-dunk argument. Since mmWave runs at a significantly higher frequency than LTE, that means it comes with no shortage of tradeoffs. MmWave has worse range and worse penetration compared to LTE. A mmWave signal can be blocked by buildings, trees, and even your hand. MmWave doesn't work well in the rain or fog, and the ~60GHz chunk of this spectrum can actually be absorbed by oxygen. That's right—a slice of mmWave spectrum can be blocked by the air.

With so many issues to overcome, mmWave sounds like a terrible chunk of spectrum to build a mobile network in until you consider two key points: the higher-frequency means mmWave has plenty of bandwidth and low latency if you can get it, and most of all, the spectrum is available. MmWave isn't being used for much right now because it is such a pain in the butt to work with. So if you can figure out all the implementation problems, you suddenly have a vast amount of airspace to work with. That's actually the first thing these companies talk about when they bring up mmWave. It's all going to be really, really hard and complicated, they say, but it's going to be worth it.
Discrete 5G modems—More components, more power usage, smaller batteries
Discrete 5G modems—More components, more power usage, smaller batteries
LTE debuted in 2011, and these past seven years have seen significant progress in making 4G smartphone hardware smaller, faster, and more efficient. With 5G, we're going to lose plenty of this technical maturity initially by packing in tons of new and expensive 5G hardware.

Discrete 5G modems—More components, more power usage, smaller batteries

Smartphones today are almost entirely powered by a single chip, appropriately called an "SoC" or "System on a Chip." As the name suggests, these are the most basic parts you need to make a computer all on a single, tiny chip. There are usually lots of CPU cores, a GPU, an "ISP" for camera functionality, Wi-Fi, and more. RAM isn't technically included on this chip, but to save space, the RAM actually gets stacked on top of the SoC. The main off-SoC component is the storage, and across the motherboard there will typically be a sprinkling of tiny chips for power management, audio, Bluetooth, NFC, and other things. From there, it's the motherboard's job to connect everything to everything else and then get the hell out of the way so that as much as the phone as possible can be filled with battery.

The point is that space is at a premium inside a smartphone, and while you can't do much to control the size of core components like the SoC, camera, SIM card, or USB port, the battery is the one part that can be as large or as small as you want it to be. When you think "size" in a smartphone, you should think "battery." Anything that gets bigger means less battery. Anything that adds an extra component means less battery. The battery gets all the leftover space in a smartphone. (This is, basically, the headphone jack argument.)

These past few years, smartphone manufacturers have all been trying to convince us that we don't need a headphone jack, and the argument has been that removing them means less complexity and more space for battery. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan even put a number to this argument: he said that skipping a headphone jack in the Razer Phone meant the company could increase the battery capacity by 500mAh.

Why does this matter in an article about 5G? The short answer is that 5G mmWave is going to require a lot more hardware than 4G, which brings up all of these battery size and device-complexity concerns.

Qualcomm's biggest advantage in the 4G era has been its modems. Through a combination of technology knowhow and intellectual property rights, Qualcomm is the only chip maker that can combine an SoC and modem into a single chip and sell it around the world at a low price.

This single-chip solution is a huge advantage, resulting in a smaller, less-complex, cheaper motherboard and more room for battery. Merging everything into a single chip also results in power savings while the phone is running, since, generally, one chip takes less power than two chips. For years, Qualcomm users have enjoyed SoCs with onboard 4G LTE modems, and the company rode this design advantage to market domination. Today, as a high-end SoC vendor, Qualcomm is basically a monopoly, with nearly every Android flagship using a Qualcomm SoC.

Qualcomm recently showed off its flagship SoC for 2019, the Snapdragon 855. While the company spent hours beyond measure hyping up the Snapdragon 855's 5G compatibility, it won't actually have a 5G mmWave modem onboard. The 855 will have LTE onboard, as usual, but 5G phones will need a separate modem—Qualcomm is going to lose its single-chip advantage for 5G. As explained above, this means less battery and more power usage.

We've already lived through the whole "first-gen network hardware" routine before. When the switch to 4G happened, the first batch of new 4G hardware arrived with the same discrete modem compromise that we'll see with 5G. The most famous example was the HTC Thunderbolt, the first 4G device on Verizon's network. This used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8655 SoC (before the simplified model numbers!) with a separate Qualcomm MDM9600 LTE modem. The Thunderbolt was a disaster, since it included all this new 4G hardware with only a 1400mAh battery. It was thick, hot, slow, buggy, and had terrible battery life. The Thunderbolt regularly makes lists of "the worst phones of all time," and one HTC employee even apologized for the phone's creation. New network hardware can be a disaster if you do it wrong.
Qualcomm's gigantic first-gen 5G chips
Qualcomm's gigantic first-gen 5G chips

Qualcomm's gigantic first-gen 5G chips

I'm not guaranteeing that the first 5G hardware will be as bad as the Thunderbolt—a lot about smartphone design has changed since then—but the worry about early networking hardware remains. New networking hardware is "new" precisely because this is the first time it's been made small enough to fit inside a smartphone. Companies don't wait until they are well under the size requirements for a smartphone to ship a product; they design a new phone the very second new networking hardware will just barely fit. These 2019 devices will likely be bloated with 5G hardware—the biggest 5G hardware that will ever exist.

Let's compare the internal components you'll need to make 4G and 5G work. In terms of major Qualcomm chips, a 2019 4G phone will have the Snapdragon 855, and that's it. There's an onboard LTE modem in the 855, so you don't need an extra chip for connectivity, and LTE antennas are tiny wires that are usually integrated into the motherboard. 5G is a totally different story: you'll need the Snapdragon 855, plus the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, plus a series of "QTM052" 5G antenna modules, which are actual chips instead of wires or motherboard traces.

I haven't seen Qualcomm publish exact die sizes for its 5G chips or the Snapdragon 855, but the company has a habit of photographing its chips next to pennies for scale. Here's the Snapdragon 855, the 5G modem, and the 5G RF Module, all pictured next to a US cent. These coin pictures are meant to say, "Look at how small our chip is!" but they also give us a perfect ruler to load everything up in Photoshop and have to-scale Qualcomm chip pictures.

It turns out Qualcomm's first-gen 5G chips are going to be really big—at least, "really big" compared all the other extremely-small smartphone components. The X50 5G modem and a single RF module take up more space than the Snapdragon 855. Keep in mind the 855 is an entire SoC—nearly everything you need to run a computer—plus a built-in 4G modem, so it's pretty incredible that a 5G modem and a single RF module takes up just as much space as the entire rest of the core phone components, minus the storage chip. For now, 4G has a clean, single chip design, while 5G is going to have these massive extra chips to deal with.

"Exponentially" more complicated hardware, lots of design challenges

At Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii earlier this month, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon spoke a bit about just how complicated it is to build a 5G smartphone. One of his slides said that 5G would increase smartphone design complexity "exponentially." While Amon said that hoping to make Qualcomm's engineering sound impressive, to me it sounds like a battery-killing nightmare. Complexity is bad. Complexity is expensive.

It's not just that 5G hardware is bigger than 4G hardware—you're also going to have to absolutely pack a phone with 5G hardware to make it work. MmWave's penetration is so poor you can easily block the signal with your hand, which is kind of a problem for a device that you constantly hold while you're using it. To avoid situations where "you're holding it wrong," Qualcomm's solution is to pack the phone with multiple 5G antennas.

Your 5G phone won't just need a Snapdragon 855, an X50 modem, and a QTM052 antenna module—it's actually going to need multiple QTM052 chips. Qualcomm's page on the QTM052 says you'll need "four differently located mmWave modules" in order to work around all of mmWave's limitations, although more advanced designs might get down to three. Qualcomm's 5G diagrams all show four 5G antenna modules in a phone—one on each side of the device. Qualcomm's "reference" 5G prototype (which Anandtech recently had a look at) shows three 5G antennas: top, left, and right. Motorola's 5G Moto Mod—the closest thing we have to a real, consumer design—has four antennas: left, right, and two on top.

No matter what configuration OEMs go with, it looks like they will all have some kind of multi-antenna design, which will let the phone pick whichever antenna your hands aren't blocking. For an example, imagine holding a phone in portrait—your hand might block the left and right antennas, so the phone could switch to the top and bottom antennas. If you're using landscape, your hands might block the top and bottom antennas, so the phone would use the left and right ones. A 5G setup will intelligently switch to whatever antennas can get a signal out.

More antennas mean even more complicated internals and even more space used up. If we go back to our to-scale chip photos, Qualcomm's 2019 5G package is going to take up an absolutely massive amount of space compared to 4G. I don't know how thick everything is, but in terms of pixels in Photoshop, 5G uses 3.3 times more area than the "4G" configuration of a single SoC. For an industry that can't give us headphone jacks anymore because they take up too much space, all this extra 5G hardware seems kind of hard to justify.

The design gets more complicated that just laying everything out on a flat sheet, though. These multiple 5G antennas are there to enable a technique called "3D beamforming." Rather than send a signal out in a wave (think of the Wi-Fi symbol), a beamforming antenna can locate where the tower is and will fire a concentrated signal directly at it. Similarly, the tower will track your location and fire a beam directly at you. Qualcomm says 3D beamforming is a key design feature of 5G devices, since a more concentrated beam will help overcome some of the range and penetration problems of mmWave. So far, every piece of Qualcomm literature and all the hardware show these antennas placed in a perpendicular plane to the motherboard on the side of the phone.

If consumer 5G really does need a large surface area of the antenna exposed on the sides—which everything has so far indicated is true—that raises some interesting design considerations. Today, wireless charging has seen phones switch from metal unibodies to glass backs, which allows the RF signals to get in and out of the back of the device. Since glass isn't at all durable, these phones usually use a metal mid-frame for support, which is usually exposed on the sides. It doesn't seem like a metal-sided smartphone design would work with side-mounted 5G antennas, though—you won't be able to have metal on the sides of the phone if an antenna needs to be there. Surely, we can't have glass sides, too, so that leaves... plastic? 5G might usher in the era of plastic-sided phones. I don't see any other way these side antennas can work.

Also, somebody's going to have to pay for all these extra 5G components, and it looks like it's going to be the consumer. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau recently told The Verge that 5G would mean phones that are $200 to $300 more expensive. That's a pile of money for a phone that won't have the runtime or more compact size of a 4G phone.
The hard reality of the 5G rollout
The hard reality of the 5G rollout

The hard reality of the 5G rollout

Clearly, 5G is going to require a tradeoff in smartphone hardware, at least for the near future. Moving to 5G means lots of hardware compromises over a 4G phone, so what do you get in return? The answer in 2019 is only "possibly faster Internet" depending on a whole host of variables, mostly having to do with your location. First, you need to be in a city that actually has 5G, then you need to be in a specific spot where you can actually receive a 5G signal, and then you have to decide if you even care about the speed increase.

Receiving faster 5G speeds means actually being able to receive a 5G signal, and so far, the 5G rollout sounds like a nightmare. Since 5G runs at a higher frequency and has much worse penetration compared to 4G, it's not a matter of just upgrading existing towers. Outdoors, the industry's inelegant solution to 5G's range and penetration problems is mostly just "build more towers," which means lots of slow negotiations for land rights and placement.

Right now, it doesn't even sound like the goal is blanket 5G mmWave coverage everywhere thanks to the limited range. Qualcomm's CEO outlined a "5G" network architecture for the United States that only used mmWave in "dense urban areas"—everywhere else would only use LTE. Keeping mmWave to urban areas makes sense when you consider the range problems. The need to build so many more towers for 5G probably isn't worth the cost outside of a city, so LTE will have to do. Even if you're in a 5G city, getting 5G mmWave coverage indoors is going to be a problem thanks to the penetration problems. Usually, you're going to need a tower inside the building to have a chance at reception (i.e., a femtocell) or you'll drop down to LTE. No one in the industry claims LTE is going away, and in fact, the current plan includes LTE improvements in the "5G" bucket.

So while there's plenty of hype around how fast 5G might be eventually, in terms of actual, 2019 modems, it's not the "10x" improvement in networking speed that often gets cited—especially as LTE keeps improving. The Snapdragon 855's onboard 4G LTE modem—the single-chip solution with none of the 5G tradeoffs—has a new-and-improved theoretical top speed of 2Gbps down, according to Qualcomm. The X50 5G modem and a pile of RF modules can more than double that, with a theoretical download speed of 5Gbps.
Both of these cited speeds are theoretical velocities that you will never achieve in real life, but keep in mind you only need about 0.006Gbps to perfectly stream high-quality 1080p, 60fps video. Even something crazy like 4K streaming only takes around 0.025Gbps, so current 4G speeds are more than enough for anyone. I am sure some day when we are all streaming virtual reality data to the heads-up display on our face computers, 5G's faster Internet speed will be useful. But for my next smartphone, I think LTE—which, again, still isn't done getting faster—will be fine.

Check back in 2020

For 5G mmWave in 2019, we're going to get thicker, hotter, more complicated phones that use more energy and cost more money. With no commercial devices to look at, the exact extent of all of these downgrades is still up in the air, but it's undeniable that first-gen 5G hardware is going to be inferior to more mature 4G designs. With 5G networks only in their infancy and a supposed $200-$300 premium for 5G-compatible phones, this really doesn't seem worth it for consumers.

No technology springs forth fully-formed. This early work on 5G has to be done, as it lays the foundation for improvements in the future. 5G will be important in the future at least for major cities, and it's needed to help mobile networks better survive the never-ending bandwidth needs of the future. That doesn't mean you are obligated to spend your money on 5G now, though.

In a year or two, mmWave hardware should be more mature and more integrated. A big sign to look for is if Qualcomm's 2020 SoC has an integrated 5G modem, which would bring back many of the single-chip advantages that 4G has today. The immaturity of 5G won't stop the coming advertising blitz, though. Soon you'll start seeing the launch of the first 5G phone on network X, and every carrier on Earth will be advertising 5G as the best thing since sliced bread. Don't believe the hype. For the near future, if you can buy a 4G version of a phone, you probably should.
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It's been a year since we've seen the first devices running Windows on Snapdragon, and Qualcomm is continuing its quest to make a capable ARM-based processor for PCs. On the third of its three-day tech summit in Hawaii today, the company unveiled the Snapdragon 8cx. It's Qualcomm's second made-for-Windows chipset, but one that the company says offers significantly better performance and energy efficiency. So much more, in fact, that the "x" in 8cx stands for "extreme."

Like the just-announced Snapdragon 855, the Snapdragon 8cx is built on a 7nm process -- a first in the compute space, according the company. This transistor-rich footprint should bring about much better power performance and potentially longer battery life. The 8cx is also designed for fanless laptops so as to keep those devices thin and light enough to carry everywhere all day.

Qualcomm's new PC processor promises 'extreme' power

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The Snapdragon 8cx is a higher-end processor for Windows on Snapdragon. Qualcomm's new PC processor promises 'extreme' power, always connected pc,mediatek processors,smartphone processors explained,mobile processors explained,what is a processor in urdu,what is processor in hindi,mobile processors hindi,new snapdragon processor 2019,new snapdragon processors,#best processor for pc,new snapdragon processors 2018,new snapdragon processors hindi
Inside the 8cx is a brand new graphics processor, the Adreno 680 Extreme, which Qualcomm said is twice as fast as the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 850, and 3.5 times faster than the first Snapdragon PCs using the 835 chipset. Plus, the Adreno 680 features a doubled memory interface from 64bit to 128bit wide, and is supposed to be 60% more power efficient than the 850's graphics chip. In all, Qualcomm is calling this the "most extreme GPU (it) has ever made."

The company also made a new octa-core Kryo 495 CPU for the chipset, and designed it to run Chrome better than the Snapdragon 850 thanks to the increased cache (now 10MB).

App compatibility looks to be improved this around too, at least partially because developers have put more work into transplanting software onto these always-connected machines. For now, at least, Qualcomm said it's been testing getting Chromium ported over to ARM, and it confirmed that Firefox had built an ARM-friendly version of its namesake browser for these machines.

One of the key advantages of a Snapdragon PC over say an Intel connected laptop is Qualcomm's LTE radios. The Snapdragon 8cx comes with an X24 gigabit LTE modem, so it's not exactly a 5G-ready card. But you should be able to get up to 2 Gbps transfers where your carrier has the necessary infrastructure.

The new chipset also represents the first time the Snapdragon platform is ready for Windows 10 enterprise users, which means businesses can buy these PCs for their employees with easy control for IT administrators.

With the Snapdragon 8cx, Qualcomm is also introducing Quick Charge 4+ for PCs, so you can get recharged fast when you run out of juice. The chipset also comes with Qualcomm's Aqstic suite of audio technologies like codecs, smart amplifiers and software to offer high-def Bluetooth wireless audio, as well as support voice assistants. You'll also be able to stream HiFi audio thanks to Qualcomm's aptX technology.
The Snapdragon 8cx is a higher-end processor for Windows on Snapdragon. Qualcomm's new PC processor promises 'extreme' power, always connected pc,mediatek processors,smartphone processors explained,mobile processors explained,what is a processor in urdu,what is processor in hindi,mobile processors hindi,new snapdragon processor 2019,new snapdragon processors,#best processor for pc,new snapdragon processors 2018,new snapdragon processors hindi
The Snapdragon 8cx is a higher-end processor for Windows on Snapdragon. Qualcomm's new PC processor promises 'extreme' power, always connected pc,mediatek processors,smartphone processors explained,mobile processors explained,what is a processor in urdu,what is processor in hindi,mobile processors hindi,new snapdragon processor 2019,new snapdragon processors,#best processor for pc,new snapdragon processors 2018,new snapdragon processors hindi
There's also support for second-generation USB 3.1 over Type C and third-generation PCI-E so you can connect a wide variety of peripherals. In fact, you can link up to two 4K HDR monitors to your Snapdragon 8cx-equipped laptop.

In addition to all those improvements, Qualcomm is also promising multi-day battery life with the Snapdragon 8cx. Given the company already promises up to 20 and 25 hours on laptops using the Snapdragon 835 and 850 respectively, the idea of several days of juice doesn't seem too ludicrous. Of course, it'll depend on what other components laptop makers use.

The Snapdragon 850 isn't going away any time soon, though -- think of it as sort of like an Intel U-series chip compared to the beefier Snapdragon 8cx, which is more like Intel's Y series. Presumably, 8cx-powered PCs will cost more than their 850-packing counterparts, too. Qualcomm said there will be more laptops packing the Snapdragon 850 next year, in addition to the first 8cx product which start shipping in the third quarter of 2019.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018 has been going on this week. There have been a lot of 5G-related announcements coming out of the event. Qualcomm also officially revealed the name and features for the upcoming Snapdragon 855 mobile platform. Today, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau took the stage to talk about their relationship with Qualcomm. He also announced that they will have the first flagship smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 855.

Lau talked about how OnePlus started with the Snapdragon 801 in the OnePlus One and they have used Qualcomm 800-series chips in every device. The unnamed OnePlus 2019 flagship will be the first to feature the Snapdragon 855. Lau said, “We know that the 855 is the most powerful chipset, it is definitely the one and only choice [for our phone].”
OnePlus will be the first company with a Snapdragon 855 smartphone
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A little bit about the 855, it will be manufactured on a 7nm process. It will be ready for 5G devices with the Snapdragon X50 modem. We’ve already heard a few reports of OnePlus launching a 5G phone in 2019, so this news lines up with that. One report claimed the 5G OnePlus device will not be the OnePlus 7.

Qualcomm hasn’t revealed all the details about the Snapdragon 855 yet. We know it includes the 4th-generation multi-core AI Engine, which boasts 3 times the AI performance as the Snapdragon 845. It also features the first Computer Vision Image Signal Processor (CV-ISP) to deliver new photo and video capture features. Snapdragon Elite Gaming is a set of features to enhance mobile gaming experiences. Lastly, the company announced the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor, which uses ultrasonic waves for in-display fingerprint scanners, unlike optical under-display fingerprint scanners, which use light.
Update: OnePlus just shared the tweet below. They will be partnering with EE to deliver a flagship 5G phone in “early 2019.”

At the ongoing three-day Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018 in Maui, Hawaii, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 855 SoC yesterday. Today, the chipmaker took a deep dive to talk about the performance aspects of the new Snapdragon 855 that will be powering the flagship smartphones of 2019.

With the new chipset, Qualcomm is focusing on some key areas with improvements in performance, AI, camera, and connectivity. Let’s go ahead and look at the new features that Snapdragon 855 SoC, brings compared to the last year’s Snapdragon 845.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC promises 45% performance improvements and faster connectivity

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Big performance boost

Let’s talk about the core aspect of the Snapdragon 855 first – the performance. The new chipset, like Apple’s A12 Bionic and Huawei’s Kirin 980 SoC, is built on 7nm process. It features the next-gen Kryo 485 CPU with a tri-cluster design featuring one prime core clocked at 2.84GHz, three performance cores clocked at 2.42GHz, and four efficiency cores clocked at 1.8GHz. The prime core and performance cores are based on ARM’s Cortex A76 architecture, whereas the efficiency cores are based on ARM’s Cortex A55 architecture.


Qualcomm says, the new CPU offers a 45 percent performance jump over last year’s Snapdragon 845. The CPU is paired with new Adreno 640 GPU, which offers 20 percent performance improvements over the predecessor.

Faster connectivity

The new chipset will focus on offering faster internet speeds, both when connected to cellular and Wi-Fi networks. While Qualcomm had been talking a lot about 5G, and how it will change the user experiences, the new chipset does not come integrated with the X50 modem. Instead, the Snapdragon comes integrated with a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, which is still an upgrade over the existing X20 modem on the Snapdragon 845.


The new modem supports up to 2Gbps speeds on LTE (Cat.20). Smartphone makers can additionally add X50 modem as a separate module. When paired with the X50 modem, Snapdragon 855 will support both fast mmWave and the long-range sub-6Ghz band. The implementation will be similar to what we have seen on the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod.


The Snapdragon 855 SoC also comes with faster Wi-Fi too. Qualcomm says it is the world’s first chipset to come with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and 60GHz Wi-Fi 802.11ay that could offer speeds up to 10Gbps.

Improved Artificial Intelligence

Thanks to Hexagon 690 DSP, the Snapdragon 855 SoC also gains on the AI performance, especially for the tasks that rely on neural network-based software. The Hexagon DSP, Adreno GPU and the Kryo CPU, are all capable of working together to execute AI related tasks. The 4th gen AI engine brings 3X improvements in AI-related tasks compared to the previous chipset, and 2X performance boost over competitor 7nm chipset.

Qualcomm has also been working with Google to advance the TensorFlow library. The partnership with Google will bring big gains in photo and object recognition, and Google Lens AR platform.

Cameras get even better

The Snapdragon 855 SoC comes with exciting features, especially in the camera department. It features an updated Spectra 380 ISP (image signal processor) with upgrades like computer vision for portrait mode, and AR/VR functions. The chipset is capable of doing depth sensing at 60fps when recording a video, meaning you get real-time portrait mode when recording videos. There is also support for real-time HDR at 4K resolution.


Besides, the SoC also comes with support for HEIF images for photos. Smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy A9 and LG V40 that feature more than two rear cameras can benefit from this, as it will allow these phones to shoot three or four different types of images, and store all of them into a single photo file. Lastly, Qualcomm is also promising 2X battery life improvements with the new SoC.

Entertainment and gaming improvements

Lastly, Qualcomm also detailed the entertainment and gaming performance on the Snapdragon 855. The company announced the Snapdragon Elite Gaming Platform with new features, which includes support for low-level graphics APU and Vulkan 1.1, allowing developers to get the get maximum performance from the phone.


The new chipset will also support 10-bit HDR gaming, offering more realistic graphics with closer to life colors. What’s more, there is support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ standard as well, offering more immersive content. There is hardware accelerated VP9 and H.265 video support as well, resulting in 7x power savings.

Smartphones with Snapdragon 855 SoC will hit the market in the first half of 2019, and OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has promised that the next flagship smartphone will be powered by this chipset. You can also expect Xiaomi, Samsung, and LG among others to release their Snapdragon 855 based smartphones next year.

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has said it is engaging actively with the telecom ministry and sectoral regulator in India on the potential offered by the next-generation 5G services that are being deployed across countries like the US, Korea and China. Speaking on the sidelines of the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm Technologies Senior Vice President, Engineering, Durga Malladi said: “Qualcomm has been quite active in terms of engaging with both telecom ministry and the regulator (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in educating folks on the 5G front”. He also emphasised that 5G rollout will not be the end of 4G LTE services. “…when you get to 5G, you definitely aren’t letting go of 4G. It’s not rip-and-replace in 5G,” he explained.

5G Rollout Will Not Be the End of 4G LTE in India: Qualcomm

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5G Rollout Will Not Be the End of 4G LTE in India: Qualcomm, 5g, 5g in india, 5g mobile, 5g technology, airtel volte in delhi, jio 4g volte phone, qualcomm, what is 5g
Malladi, however, declined to comment on expected timeline of the 5G rollout in India, stating that spectrum auction is yet to be held in the country, following which airwaves for offering 5G services will be available.

While the Indian government is yet to announce a specific timeline, the industry wants spectrum auction to be held in the latter part of 2019. The government is also upbeat on 5G deployment in the country with Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha recently saying that India “cannot afford to miss the 5G bus”. Apart from higher Internet speeds, the advent of the fifth generation of the wireless system or 5G will also enable massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment that would significantly impact sectors like manufacturing, retail, education and healthcare, among others.

Qualcomm has unveiled its latest generation of mobile phone chips at the Tech Summit. These chips will power 5G smartphones that will be rolled out by handset makers like Samsung next year. Called the Snapdragon 855, the new chip promises to enhance overall mobile phone experience, enable faster speeds compared to the current 4G networks and offer better photography and immersive entertainment to users.

However, users in India will have to wait for some time as telecom operators in the country are yet to announce plans around 5G services, which is expected to provide download speed over 1 Gbps on mobile devices.

Speaking at the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm Incorporated President Cristiano Amon said 5G would be a commercial reality starting in early 2019, with mobile device launches and network rollouts across the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and China.

He also highlighted that Qualcomm is uniquely positioned to propel 5G deployments across geographies with its new Snapdragon 855 mobile chip and Snapdragon X50 5G modem family. These solutions, he said, will help telecom operators offer 5G services in both sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands.

Operators like Verizon and AT&T in the US have stated that they expect to roll out 5G next year. Apart from higher speeds, the new chip also promises to offer improved gaming and augmented reality experiences. Initially, the Snapdragon 855 is expected to be incorporated by handset makers to power their premium flagship devices.

Samsung expects to bring its first flagship 5G smartphone to the US in the first half of 2019 that will use the Snapdragon 855 mobile platform with the 5G X50 modem. It also demonstrated live streaming of 4K videos on a prototype 5G handset.

Motorola also demonstrated its ‘5G Moto Mod‘ that it will be released next year. Users can snap the mod at the back of their Moto Z3 smartphone and start getting 5G speeds. The demo showcased how 250MB files can be downloaded in 4 seconds, while a large 1GB file was downloaded in under 18 seconds.

Qualcomm is all set to launch its latest flagship mobile processor at the annual Snapdragon Summit. While everything was still under the sheets, a new leak has confirmed the upcoming premium SoC.

The Snapdragon 855 mobile platform has been leaked in full glory before its official announcement.

The new Snapdragon 855 SoC will come with multi-gigabit 5G speeds, a new multi-core AI engine, better AI performance and enhanced AI-based camera features. While a lot of companies are expected to launch their flagships with the new SD 855 platform, here is the list of the devices expected to feature the top-end chip.

Snapdragon 855 With 5G Support Officially Announced - Here Are 10 Upcoming Snapdragon 855 Smartphones!

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Upcoming Snapdragon 855 Smartphones | Snapdragon 855 Phones

The next Qualcomm flagship processor has been accidentally leaked online. Among the probables, here are the top upcoming Snapdragon 855 smartphones expected to feature the chipset.

OnePlus 7

The next generation OnePlus 7 smartphone will feature the latest Snapdragon chipset. The company is said to be working on its 5G capabilities, and a new series even being expected during the first quarter of 2019.

Asus Zenfone 6Z

The next generation Asus Zenfone Z flagship may feature the latest Snapdragon 855 platform as well. The first prototype of the smartphone is out, and it is expected to be unveiled at the MWC 2019 in Barcelona.

Poco F2

Although it’s very early to comment, the second generation Poco F2 will run on the latest platform. Currently, the Xiaomi Poco F1 is the cheapest smartphone in the world to use the latest Qualcomm flagship processor, Snapdragon 845.

Google Pixel 4

The next generation Google Pixel 4 will launch in late 2019 in October. The smartphone will feature the new top-end chipset from Qualcomm with some of the latest software tweaks and Android Q.

Samsung Galaxy S10

The upcoming Galaxy S10 in the United States will use Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. The Snapdragon chipset flagship devices will only be available as the US non-Exynos version.

LG G8

South Korean tech giant LG is expected to unveil its next flagship at the Mobile World Congress and it will probably feature the upcoming Snapdragon 855. It may not a new series, but the eighth generation LG G8.

Xiaomi Mi 9

There has been rumours of Xiaomi Mi 9 using a Snapdragon 8150 platform, the next Qualcomm flagship chipset. But now with Snapdragon 855 being spotted, we expect to see the new top-end Snapdragon chipset on Mi 9.

Moto Z4

The current Moto Z3 came with the older Snapdragon 835 chipset, so we are expecting the latest on Moto Z4. The fourth generation Motorola Moto Z4 will probably run on the latest Snapdragon 855 platform.

Sony Xperia XZ4

The leaked specs of Sony Xperia XZ4 hint at the latest upcoming Snapdragon flagship chipset. Sony will probably the one of the first smartphone companies to launch a smartphone with the new Snapdragon 855.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

The tenth generation Galaxy Note 10 will use the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset in the United States. The non-US Note 01 version will use its standard Exynos chip for countries like India.

We will keep you updated, as we receive more information and details about Snapdragon 855 processor.

Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday unveiled a new generation of mobile phone processor chips that will power 5G smartphones in the United States as soon as next year. The key feature of the Snapdragon 855 chip, launched at an event in Hawaii, is a so-called modem for phones to connect to 5G wireless data networks with mobile data speeds of up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

Mobile carriers are investing in 5G networks and are eager to sell 5G phones and data plans to recoup investment costs. Qualcomm, the largest supplier of mobile phone chips, said Snapdragon 855 would power Samsung 5G smartphones that Verizon Communications Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd  said on Monday would be released in the United States in the first half of 2019.

The modem would also enable "computer vision" to help phones recognise objects and faces, and support a new Qualcomm fingerprint sensor that can read a user`s fingerprint through the glass screen of a smartphone.

The Samsung phone would be a major challenge for Apple Inc , its biggest rival in the premium handset market in the United States as the iPhone maker is locked in a legal battle with Qualcomm. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported on Monday that Apple would wait until at least 2020 to release its first 5G iPhones. 

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Satish Kumar

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