IN-DEPTH TECH: QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON 888 WHAT YOU'RE GETTING IN YOUR 2021 FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONES
HWM Singapore|January 2021
Qualcomm’s flagship chipset - the Snapdragon 888 mobile platform - was launched at the start of December 2020. True to Qualcomm’s timing, the new chipset is slated for flagship-tier Android smartphones that will start showing up in 2021. In this article, we look at improvements over the Snapdragon 865 (where possible), and check out specific updates of the new SD888 chipset.
Liu Hongzuo
Deconstructing the chipset

On-board the SD888 is a Spectra 580 image signal processor that’s 35% faster at photo- and video-taking than its predecessor. The Adreno 660 graphics processing unit is 35% faster at rendering graphics and 20% more power-efficient than the previous generation. The Hexagon 780 processor has 16 times the dedicated memory size compared to previous products, which in turn offers up to three times more performance per watt, and is capable of doing more tasks with minimal handing-off to external memory. That’s not forgetting the Kyro 680 CPU, which has a 25% performance increase and is 25% more power-efficient than its previous generation CPU.

Other interesting parts are its second-generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub for identifying and processing different streams of 5G / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Location connectivity. To make the extra streams of data, computing power, and graphics power talk to each other, Qualcomm implemented a sixth-generation AI Engine capable of processing up to 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS). For comparison, Snapdragon 865 was only capable of 15 TOPS.

SD888 also comes with a new feature called Hypervisor. Basically, it allows the chipset to hold two separate operating systems (OS) within. Both operating systems can be identical, with apps residing in specific OSes. It even allows for different OSes to be installed. It’s entirely up to the phone maker to implement Hypervisor in a way that works best with their products.

Unlike the Snapdragon 865, there’s enough space for Qualcomm to fit its latest 5G modem onto the mobile platform (thanks, 5nm architecture).

Imaging Capabilities

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