Published on October 24, 2023, 3:31 pm
Qualcomm has recently unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, a state-of-the-art mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) that aims to bring generative AI to future smartphones. This announcement was made at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, where the company highlighted the meticulous design of the new SoC with generative AI in mind.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 boasts numerous enhancements compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. These improvements include an upgraded Kryo CPU with a performance boost of up to 30% and a power efficiency boost of up to 20%. The inclusion of Arm Cortex-X4 technology, an enhanced AI Engine, Adreno GPU, and Hexagon NPU further elevate the capabilities of this new chipset. These upgrades cater to gaming, photography, and AI applications.
Qualcomm’s emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) is evident in their mobile offerings this year. Their AI engine now supports multi-modal generative AI models, large language models (LLM), language vision models (LVM), and transformer network-based automatic speech recognition (ASR) with over 10 billion parameters. By leveraging Qualcomm’s Sensing Hub technologies, LLMs can operate at an impressive rate of up to 20 tokens per second. Such advancements enable virtual assistants to provide more personalized responses tailored to individual users.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also integrates powerful image processing capabilities facilitated by AI. It incorporates Qualcomm’s Spectra image processor, hardware acceleration for depth sensors, and support for various HDR sensors such as multi-frame and triple video capture. Users can expect seamless photo capture with up to 36 MP triple cameras at 30 frames per second (fps), or even opt for a high-resolution single camera at up to 108 MP with zero shutter lag. Moreover, features like AI-based facial recognition and AI-assisted auto-focus, auto-exposure, and auto-white balance (3A) are fully supported. The video capture capability reaches up to stunning 8K HDR quality.
Elite Gaming features have also received significant improvements. The latest Snapdragon platform enables up to 240 frames per second (fps) on 240Hz displays, upscales gaming to 8K resolution with Snapdragon Game Super Resolution, and incorporates the enhanced Adreno Frame Motion Engine 2.0. Additionally, the introduction of Unreal Engine version 5.2 brings hardware-accelerated ray tracing and Lumen global illumination, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
Security is a top priority in this new mobile chip as well. Qualcomm has implemented robust security measures such as a Trust Management Engine and Trusted Execution Environment & Services (TEE). The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also supports Android’s DICE-based remote key provisioning, which further strengthens service APIs. Moreover, its Secure Processing Unit (SPU) is compatible with the latest Android Strongbox SW components.
In terms of connectivity, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 comes equipped with the Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF system, ensuring seamless compatibility with 5G networks and download/upload speeds of up to 10Gbps/3.5Gbps respectively. Notably, this modem also features an integrated AI tensor hardware accelerator for improved network performance and coverage. Wi-Fi capabilities have been upgraded too, with Wi-Fi 7 offering peak speeds reaching an impressive 5.8Gbps.
Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets at Qualcomm, expressed his excitement about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s potential by stating that it “infuses high-performance AI across the entire system to deliver premium-level performance and extraordinary experiences to consumers.” This platform opens up new possibilities for generative AI use cases that involve generating unique content, boosting productivity, and more.
Android smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC are expected to hit the market in the coming weeks. Qualcomm has already named several potential partners, including ASUS, Honor, OnePlus, OPPO, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. These brands are set to integrate the new SoC into their device lineups.
In addition to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm also announced two other notable products at the summit. The Snapdragon X Elite is a PC platform designed to enhance the power and capabilities of AI applications by providing greater speed and responsiveness. Moreover, Qualcomm unveiled Snapdragon Seamless—a cross-device system that breaks down barriers between OEMs, devices, and operating systems. This revolutionary feature allows consumers to switch seamlessly between PCs, tablets, and mobile devices without any compatibility issues. Snapdragon Seamless is incorporated into both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Snapdragon X Elite platforms.
With Qualcomm’s commitment to advancing generative AI technology through their latest Snapdragon chipset offerings, users can anticipate more innovative and intelligent experiences on their smartphones in the near future.