Qualcomm has revealed details about the forthcoming Snapdragon 855, which will power the majority of flagship 5G smartphones expected next year.
The news was revealed overnight at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii, taking place this week.
To be built on a 7-nanometre process, the new Snapdragon 855 will embed Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which is compatible with the 5G New Radio millimetre wave standard (mmWave) and taps into the sub-6GHz spectrum. It also supports 4G, of course.
Qualcomm was keen to emphasise 5G's ability to facilitate more content streaming, pack extra 'intelligence' into gadgets thanks to faster connections offering more bandwidth, and to enable better online gaming and content creation.
That, though, may be contingent on costs for end users, at least initially.
Qualcomm claimed that Samsung will bring the first flagship 5G smartphone to the US - which will presumably be the Samsung Galaxy S10, which the company is expected to unveil at the end of February.
Qualcomm also highlighted the Snapdragon 855's boosted multi-core AI Engine, which offers three times the smart tech performance of its predecessor.
Compute, graphical and gaming performance has also been enhanced, with the Snapdragon 855 rocking one high-performance core, three mid-range performance cores, and four 'efficiency cores'. Clock speeds haven't been revealed at the time of writing.
Qualcomm was also keen to highlight the chip's suitability for what it described as 'elite gaming'. It claimed that the 855 will bring "next level gaming experiences to premium mobile devices", which will mean working with developers and the makers of graphics engines, such as Unity and Epic's Unreal Engine, to optimise the Snapdragon 855 for gaming.
There are two particularly noteworthy things about the Snapdragon 855 other than the 5G stuff. The first is the image signal processor which will come with computer vision built into it, which Qualcomm claims is a world first.
That should promise speedier and faster smart camera features, such as image recognition and the extraction of data from smartphone snaps. That should be a boon for Google and its use of smart software to get the most out of smartphone snappers.
The second eyebrow-raising feature is the Snapdragon 855's support for Qualcomm's newly-revealed 3D Sonic Sensor which will enable ultrasonic fingerprint scanners to be located under the displays of new smartphones.
Such a scanner could be snappier and less in-your-face as the optical 'green light' 2D under-display scanner found in the OnePlus 6T. Again, we absolutely expect the Galaxy S10 to come rocking an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.
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