Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications and In-depth Evolution: Get Into 1000x improvements

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications

Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications and In-depth Features Evolution

At the end of every year, Qualcomm brings out the next generation of its flagship mobile platform with a grand Snapdragon Technology Summit, showing off its muscles in areas as diverse as mobile computing, mobile connectivity, artificial intelligence, mobile gaming, visual imaging, and the communications industry.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020
Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020

While many said last year’s Snapdragon 865 was not enjoyable enough in terms of technical features and upgrades, this year’s Snapdragon 888 is a true powerhouse, not only in name but also in every aspect of the game, giving us even more hope for next year’s flagship smartphone.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Specifications Highlights
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Specifications Highlights

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 In-depth Evolution

CPU: 5nm Process, First Super Cores

The Snapdragon 888 is built on Samsung’s new 5nm process, which, along with TSMC’s 5nm, is the most advanced process available today, and Qualcomm has made it a point to emphasize that Samsung’s process can deliver on all three fronts: technology, cost, and functionality.

The Snapdragon 888 still has eight CPU cores, but it has been upgraded with a new architecture layout, notably the world’s first Cortex-X1, ARM’s first super-core architecture, in pursuit of the ultimate in performance, claiming 20 percent better theoretical performance and 100 percent better machine learning performance than the A78.

Qualcomm has equipped the Snapdragon 888 with an X1 core clocked at the traditional 2.84GHz with 1MB of L2 cache. There are also three A78 performance cores, all at 2.40GHz with 512KB L2 cache, and four A55 energy-efficient cores, all at 1.80GHz with 128KB L2 cache. These cores share 4MB of Level 3 cache and 3MB of system cache, for a total of 8MB of cache across the chip.

Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 888 CPU delivers a 25 percent increase in combined performance over the previous generation, as well as a 25 percent increase in energy efficiency, and delivers consistently high performance for extended periods without down speed fluctuations.

Qualcomm Kryp 680 CPU
Qualcomm Kryp 680 CPU
Qualcomm Kryp 680 CPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 new Architecture

GPU: Not only high performance but also enhanced display.

GPU graphics have always been Qualcomm’s Snapdragon forte, but architectural details are rarely made public, only performance and features. The Snapdragon 888 integrates the latest generation of the Adreno 660 GPU, which is officially claimed to deliver a 35 percent improvement in graphics rendering performance and a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency.

There are also significant enhancements to display technologies, including OLED display consistency, image quality improvement, Demura (brightness color unevenness correction), sub-pixel rendering, and more. For gaming, the Adreno 660 supports Variable Shading Rate (VRS) for the first time on mobile platforms, resulting in a 30 percent performance increase.

Previously, VRS was already supported on desktop NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD graphics cards, and simply put, it allows developers to vary the shading rate within a single frame to selectively reduce the level of detail in certain areas of the frame, including in deep shadows, away from the camera, and around the periphery of the player’s focus, thereby improving performance with little to no noticeable impact on image quality.

Game Quick Touch is also interesting in that it can increase the responsiveness of gaming touch by up to 20%. There is also 144Hz high refresh/high frame rate, true 10-bit HDR, hyper-realistic Game Color Plus, Fast Blending, GPU driver updates, Xbox Cloud/Google Stadia/Amazon Luna cloud gaming, and much more. Audio support includes aptX adaptive audio technology, Aqstic audio technology, Dolby Atmos audio, and more.

Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU
Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Gaming Features
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Gaming Features

5G: Flagship platform first integrated baseband, true global 5G

The Snapdragon 888 is the first flagship platform to eliminate the need for external 5G baseband and RF systems, integrating the Snapdragon X60, the third-generation 5G solution launched in February.

The Snapdragon 888 (Snapdragon X60) is a truly global 5G mobile platform that supports mobile network solutions from every country, region, and operator in the world, notably being the first to support third-generation millimeter wave, sub-6 GHz bands, and carrier aggregation, the first to support FDD and TDD 5G carrier aggregation, and VoNR, with theoretical maximum downlink speeds of 7.5 Gbps and uplink speeds of 3Gbps.

In the domestic market, where millimeter wave is still in its infancy, the Snapdragon 888 is not a forced buy or sell, but rather a somewhat modular device that can be configured flexibly for different market conditions, such as not having a millimeter-wave module for the time being, thus saving area, cost, and energy.

By the way, the Snapdragon 888 is a 5G+5G dual SIM device. For other connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, 4K QAM, Bluetooth 5.2, and Bluetooth dual antennas are supported by embedding the recently launched FastConnect 6900 fast connectivity system.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Connectivity
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Connectivity

AI: Sixth-generation engine, 1000x improvement.

The Snapdragon 888 is the sixth generation of the Snapdragon AI Engine, with up to 26TOPS of computing power, or 26 trillion operations per second, and faster AI Engine Direct for software development. The Snapdragon 888 integrates with the Hexagon 780 processor, the first AI Fusion Accelerator, and includes three main components that seamlessly share accelerated workloads.

The first is a scalar accelerator, which improves performance by 50%; the second is a vector accelerator, which supports more data types; and the third is a tensor accelerator, which is used for matrix processing and doubles the computational density.

The combination of the three improves energy efficiency by a factor of three over the previous generation, increases dedicated shared memory by up to 16 times and improves the aging of data interactions by a staggering 1,000 times in some use cases.

The Sensing Hub, sensor hub has been upgraded to a second-generation sensor hub, and for the first time has a separate AI accelerator to further reduce the power consumption of AI scenes, connect more sensors, and receive and process multiple streams of data from 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location information.

Camera: First triple ISP, full 4K.

The Snapdragon 888 integrates the Spectra 580 CV-ISP (Computational Visual Image Signal Processor) with 2.7 billion pixels per second, a 35 percent increase over the previous generation, and for the first time, three ISPs that can simultaneously capture three 28-megapixel still photos or three 4K HDR videos with near-perfect smooth scaling.

The Snapdragon 888 also supports computational HDR-based 4K HDR video capture for the first time, 10-bit HDR HEFI image format for the first time, 4K 120FPS video capture and playback, and 0.1 lumens for low-light photography.

AI is also ubiquitous in photography, including a 3A processor with autofocus, auto-exposure, auto-white balance, and deep collaboration and optimization with software vendors such as ArcSoft and Morpho to unleash ISP performance.

Security: Truepic CAI

The Snapdragon 888 is the first mobile chipset to meet the standards of the Content Authenticity Initiative. Snapdragon 888 is capable of capturing cryptographically imprinted photos through a partnership with Truepic, a CAI (Content Authenticity Initiative) standard, an open standard championed by Adobe, for authenticating the origin of digital content. It captures encrypted, sealed photos that include tamper-proof metadata to prove the authenticity of the image (but in a privacy-sensitive manner).

The Snapdragon 888 also features a hypervisor, a feature previously added to the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chipset for PCs. This is more of a server and desktop feature, as it allows multiple operating systems to run on the same hardware while being completely independent of each other (so if one OS is compromised, the security of the others is not affected).

Furthermore, Snapdragon 888 allows each application to run on its instance of the OS for maximum security. It’s unclear whether we’ll see this on Android, but the Snapdragon 888 will also be used on ARM-powered tablets and computers, where this kind of virtualization is more common.

Security in Snapdragon 888

Fast Charging

Qualcomm QuickCharge 5 has been announced previously. Of course, the new Snapdragon 888 also offers support, which means it can handle 100W+ fast charging while minimizing heat. It’s USB Power Delivery compatible, and backward compatible with previous QC generations, going back to 2.0.

Snapdragon 888 fast charging

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications in Detail

  1. Artificial Intelligence
    • Adreno 660 GPU
    • Kryo 680 CPU
    • Hexagon 780 Processor
      • Fused AI Accelerator
      • Hexagon Tensor Accelerator
      • Hexagon Vector eXtensions
      • Hexagon Scalar Accelerator
    • Qualcomm Sensing Hub (2nd Generation)
  2. 5G Modem-RF System
    • Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System
      • 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz, standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes, FDD, TDD
      • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing
      • mmWave: 800 MHz bandwidth, 8 carriers, 2×2 MIMO
      • Sub-6 GHz: 200 MHz bandwidth, 4×4 MIMO
      • Qualcomm 5G PowerSave
      • Qualcomm Smart Transmit technology
      • Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking
      • Qualcomm(r) AI-Enhanced Signal Boost
      • Global 5G multi-SIM
    • Downlink: Up to 7.5 Gbps
    • Uplink: Up to 3 Gbps
    • Multimode support: 5G NR, LTE including CBRS, WCDMA, HSPA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE
  3. Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
    • FastConnect 6900 System
      • Wi-Fi Standards: Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n
      • Wi-Fi Spectral Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz
      • Peak speed: 3.6 Gbps
      • Channel Utilization: 20/40/80/160 MHz
      • 8-stream sounding (for 8×8 MU-MIMO)
      • MIMO Configuration: 2×2 (2-stream)
      • MU-MIMO (Uplink & Downlink)
      • 4K QAM
      • OFDMA (Uplink & Downlink)
      • Dual-band simultaneous (2×2 + 2×2)
      • Wi-Fi Security: WPA3-Enterprise, WPA3-Enhanced Open, WPA3 Easy Connect, WPA3-Personal
    • Integrated Bluetooth
      • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
      • Bluetooth features: LE Audio Features (one-to-many broadcast), Dual Bluetooth antennas
      • Bluetooth audio: Qualcomm aptX Voice audio for crystal-clear voice calls, aptX Adaptive audio for robust, low latency, high quality audio, Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring
  4. Camera
    • Qualcomm Spectra 580 Image Signal Processor
      • Triple 14-bit ISPs
      • Up to 2.7 Gigapixels per Second computer vision ISP (CV-ISP)
      • Up to 200 Megapixel Photo Capture
      • Up to 28 MP triple camera @ 30 FPS with Zero Shutter Lag
      • Up to 64+25 MP dual camera @ 30 FPS with Zero Shutter Lag
      • Up to 84 MP single camera @ 30 FPS with Zero Shutter Lag
    • Rec. 2020 color gamut photo and video capture
    • Up to 10-bit color depth photo and video capture
    • 10-bit HDR HEIF photo capture
    • 4K Video Capture + 64 MP Photo
    • 8K Video Capture @ 30 FPS
    • Slow-mo video capture at 720p @ 960 FPS
    • HEIF: HEIC photo capture, HEVC video capture
    • Video Capture Formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
    • 4K Video Capture @ 120 FPS
    • 4K HDR Video Capture with Portrait Mode (Bokeh)
    • Multi-frame Noise Reduction (MFNR)
    • Real-time object classification, segmentation, and replacement
    • Locally compensated Multi-Frame Noise Reduction
    • Multi-Frame and Staggered HDR sensor support
    • Low light photography architecture
    • Video super resolution
    • AI-based auto-focus and auto-exposure
    • Advanced HW-based face detection with deep learning filter
  5. Audio
    • Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator for hardware accelerated voice signal processing
    • Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec (Up to WCD9385)
    • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N), Playback: -108dB
    • Native DSD support, PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit
    • Customizable “Golden Ears” filter
    • New Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier (up to WSA8835)
  6. Display
    • On-Device Display Support:
      • 4K @ 60 Hz
      • QHD+ @ 144 Hz
    • Maximum External Display Support: up to 4K @ 60 Hz
      • 10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut
      • HDR10 and HDR10+
    • Demura and subpixel rendering for OLED Uniformity
  7. CPU
    • Kryo 680 CPU
      • Up to 2.84GHz, with Arm Cortex-X1 technology
      • 64-bit Architecture
  8. Visual Subsystem
    • Adreno 660 GPU
      • Vulkan 1.1 API support
      • HDR gaming (10-bit color depth, Rec. 2020 color gamut)
      • Physically Based Rendering
      • API Support: OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 FP, Vulkan 1.1
      • Hardware-accelerated H.265 and VP9 decoder
      • HDR Playback Codec support for HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision
  9. Security
    • Platform Security Foundations, Trusted Execution Environment & Services, Secure Processing Unit (SPU)
    • Qualcomm wireless edge services (WES) and premium security features
    • Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor and Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max (fingerprint sensor)
    • Qualcomm Type-1 Hypervisor
  10. Charging
    • Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 Technology
  11. Location
    • GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC capable, and SBAS
    • Dual Frequency Support
    • Low Power Geofencing and Tracking, Sensor assisted Navigation
    • Near Field Communications (NFC): Supported
  12. Memory
    • Support for LP-DDR5 memory up to 3200 MHz
    • Support for LP-DDR4x memory up to 2133 MHz
    • Memory Density: up to 16 GB
  13. General Specifications
    • Full Suite of Snapdragon Elite Gaming features
    • 5 nm Process Technology
    • USB Version 3.1; USB Type-C Support
    • Part Number: SM8350
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Full Specifications

Which Snapdragon 888 new flagship machine are you most looking forward to? Here is list.

Source 1, Source 2

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