If you use smartphones, you know who Qualcomm is — or they’ve touched your life in some way at least. And, if you tend to operate on a budget, then you’ll be touched in a slightly less expensive way soon — the chipmaker has just unveiled its new Snapdragon 780G chipset, a 5nm sliver of silicon designed for phones that don’t end in the word ‘Pro’.
Which is nice and all, but what difference does it really make, besides using an even-teenier fabrication method? We’re glad you ask, hypothetical person — here’s what you need to know.
Snapdragon 780G skills
For one thing, it’s quicker — because no new chipset is ever slower than the last one. Qualcomm reckons the successor to the 768G runs 40% faster than its predecessor. On-device AI applications are set to get a kick in the pants thanks to a new Hexagon 770 co-processor (which shares memory between Tensor, Scalar accelerators and Vector eXtensions — this’ll make sense if you’re the sort of person sticking AI on a mobile phone, we reckon).
There’s a new image signal processor on the chip that lets users capture up to three 25MP images with a single click — whether your phone will actually use that feature completely depends on its manufacturer but the option is there. There’s new low-light architecture, support for HDR10+ video recording, and improved AI-based image assistance.
Connectivity is also getting a boost. 5G support is almost a given on new chipsets in 2021, but there’a also WiFi 6E to look forward to (with a theoretical maximum speed of 3.6Gbps), Bluetooth 5.2, and support for up to 24-bit 96KHz audio streaming.
Just what the first handset that features the Snapdragon 780G will be isn’t known, but we will probably see it soon. The first handsets are due on the market before mid-2021.