When the iPhone 5S came out with a 64-bit SoC, it was hailed for thinking forward, even though there wasn’t and in fact isn’t, much real world usage as of now. A representative of Qualcomm, Anand Chandrashekhar, famously dismissed Apple’s A7 chips as a gimmick, and was removed from his position as Chief Marketing Officer less than a month later. Qualcomm of course issued a statement that these views were inaccurate, since they were working on their own 64-bit SoC’s. These new powerful SoC’s have finally been unveiled, and pack a huge punch, offering a performance increase of almost 60% on average. Since Qualcomm’s promised custom 64-bit architecture won’t see the light of day until sometime later this year, these new SoC’s still use ARM’s architecture. Here’s what you need to know about the new Snapdragon 810 and 808 SoC’s.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and 808 – Specs, Features and Availability
First and foremost, don’t throw away that Samsung Galaxy S5 or Nokia Lumia 1520 just yet, the Snapdragon 810 and 808 will be available on devices only by early 2015. However, previously revealed midrange and budget SoC’s, the Snapdragon 410, 610 and 615 will be seen in devices by the end of the year, and run on the same 64-bit architecture. What’s interesting is that the Snapdragon 410, 610 and 615 will use the ARM Cortex A53 cores, which are basically replacements for the present ARM Cortex A7’s, and will get 64-bit mobile computing to the masses earlier than flagships.
The Snapdragon 810 and 808 will differ in a number of ways, most importantly in the number of CPU cores, the GPU and memory. Both will make use of ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration, which means that there will be separate CPU cores for high performance and low power consumption. In case of the Snapdragon 810, there’s 4 high performance Cortex A57 cores and 4 low power Cortex A53 cores, and the Snapdragon 808 will come with 2 high performance Cortex A57 cores and 4 low power Cortex A53 cores.
While not much has been revealed about the GPU’s, the Snapdragon 810 will come with an Adreno 430, while the Snapdragon 808 will come with an Adreno 418. The Adreno 430 is supposed to offer a performance increase of a whopping 80% over the present Adreno 330, while the Adreno 418 should be around 30% better. The recently revealed Snapdragon 805’s GPU, the Adreno 420 will slot above the Adreno 420. Unfortunately though, only the Snapdragon 810 will support 4K UHD displays, the Snapdragon 808 will top out at 2K. Another huge new technology the Snapdragon 810 will introduce is LPDDR4 memory, which will be much faster than LPDDR3 memory found on the Snapdragon 808. For the number savvy, that’s a bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s over 15 GB/s, pretty significant.
Both these powerful SoC’s will be manufactured using a 20 nm process, which should lower the power consumption as well, will feature 4G LTE standard, and will support cameras upto 55 MP. It’s quite obvious that the Snapdragon 810 is the SoC to look out for, which will be powering the most cutting edge smartphones and tablets, but the lower priced 64-bit alternatives shouldn’t be overlooked either. The bulk of smartphones sold will be powered by the Snapdragon 610, 615 and lower, so that’s technically the point to look out for.