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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Processor Is Here

Qualcomm has revealed its new mobile processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is a top end processor set to power the next lot of Android devices in 2024. 

 The new processor focuses on raw performance and camera enhancements and significantly on generative AI to allow upcoming Android phones to have features similar to ChatGPT and DALL.E image generator. 

At the heart, is the next gen Kryo core based on Arm’s Cortex-X4. It provides a clock speed up to 3.3GHz, and is claimed to be 30% faster than its predecessor, as well as 20% more frugal at power intake. 

It’s also based on TSMC’s 4nm fabrication technology, which is a generation behind the 3nm stack deployed by Apple for the iPhone 15 range. 

The core architecture has a 1+5+2 format, with the prime core doing the most, assisted by five performance cores running at 3.2GHz.  

For the less demanding tasks, there are two efficiency cores running at 2.3GHz, and for gamers, Qualcomm claims this allows 240fps gaming. 

The company has taken inspiration from PC gaming, with a new frame generation algorithm which can upscale the fps count from 60 to 120.  

Unreal Engine 5’s Lumen system is also included to produce more accurate and realistic shadows and reflections in games. 

Qualcomm has also mentioned 8K gamine on an external display, however there aren’t many details available regarding this. This is possible due to the onboard Adreno GPU, providing a performance and efficiency boost of 25% each. 

Qualcomm has said the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will allow users to remove undesirable objects from videos, and leverages Stable Diffusion’s generative AI tricks to let users switch the background in images. 

Generative AI fill is also part of the offer, and allows users to expand the canvas of their original photos, using AI to add more elements that weren’t originally in the camera’s frame. This is possible because of predictive pixel generation.  

All AI features are possible by deploying specialised modules, including a 98% faster NPU (Neural Processing Unit), support for multiple-modal AI models, and a dedicated AI stack. 

The company also claims this processor is the fastest of its kind, and can handle Stable Diffusion queries for text-to-image generation in less than a second.  

It also says it can process over 20 tokens each second for generative AI models. For practical implementation, an AI assistant working with a third party plug in helps manage travels with a brief text/voice command. 

There’s support for DCG image sensors for computational HDR upscaling, night mode for video recording, and compatibility with standalone T0F (Time of Flight) sensors for detailed depth mapping. 

Dolby HDR photo capture is also available, meaning compared to 8bit JPEG shots that only depict around 16.7 million colors, the user will get 10bit depth in photos which can reproduce over a billion color shades. 

This latest flagship brings support for 8K HDR and 4K 120fps recording. Slow Motion video capture at 960fps is also possible, alongside 12-layer multimedia segmentation for more editing control and an enhanced bokeh detailing system. There is also night mode video capture at 4K 60fps. 

Connectivity is led by the Snapdragon X75 5G modem and the FastConnect 7800 system, bringing WiFi 7 and 5G Advanced-ready. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also introduces external display support for 8K panels and screens that refresh at 240Hz. 

There has also been confirmation about which companies will be using this chipset in their future phones. These includes ASUS, Honor, OnePlus, Oppo, Redmi, Sony, and Vivo, among others. 

Qualcomm explained the first Android phones with this chipset are “expected to be available in the coming weeks.” 

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