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Snapdragon 835's second cluster is a Cortex A53

by on18 January 2017

4x Kryo 280 and 4x Cortex A53

Ever since Fudzilla received confirmation that the Snapdragon 835 will be an eight-core 10nm processor, we wondered about the power-efficient cluster. Now we can confirm that one performance cluster is made from four Kryo 280 cores and the second is powered by Cortex A53 cores. 

Kryo 280 is an upgraded Kryo 200 core manufactured at 10nm. According to Qualcomm, the chip requires some 25 percent less power compared to the Kyro 200 based Snapdragon 820. The fact that the new SoC has eight cores means the  power cluster will dramatically help battery life.

The Kryo 280 part will do the heavy lifting with clocks up to 2.45 GHz while the Cortex A53 part will help the SoC preserve some power in  less performance intensive tasks.

Qualcomm officially is only saying that the Snapdragon 835 is a semi-custom SOC built on ARM Cortex Technology.

Qualcomm's  Senior Director of Product Management, and Travis Lanierand, senior VP of product management Keith Kressin, both confirmed that this is a semi-custom design with performance cluster running up to 2.45GHz and four efficiency cores running at 1.9GHz and a 1MB L2 cache.

The way a modern SoC works, is that if you need performance, the SoC will launch the applications. The rest of the time, some 80 percent, will be spent on the efficiency cluster. Just to be on the safe side, none of the gentlemen above wanted to confirm or deny that the Snapdragon 835 efficiency cluster is based on the Cortex A53. Our confirmation comes from our secret industry sources. According to ARM, Cortex A53 has less than half the size of the high-end Cortex-A processors, being between two and three times more efficient.


Snapdragon 835 has a 35 percent smaller package size and consumes 25 percent less power compared to the previous generation flagship processor. This means longer battery life and thinner designs. One piece of the puzzle is the tight integration between Kryo 280, Cortex A53 efficiency core and the combination of the CPU, GPU, DSP and software framework. This results in a highly-capable heterogeneous compute platform. Improved GPU and a new DSP to make the gaming, VR, photo editing, camera performance significantly better compared for a Snapdragon 820 class SoCs.

The bottom line is that if you think that the Snapdragon 820 was a great SoC, the Snapdragon 835 looks more attractive that anything we ever seen. The three billion transistor SoC is packed with so many improvements it will easily exceed the success of Snapdragon 820.

Last modified on 18 January 2017
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