Published in PC Hardware

Snapdragon 808 is Qualcomm’s 64-bit runner up

by on08 April 2014

20nm, 64-bit, Adreno 418

Just as it launched the Snapdragon 600 and 800 last year, Qualcomm’s high-end 64-bit strategy will also rely on two different chips, the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 818.

We already mentioned the Snapdragon 810 and the runner up in the high-end space is quite similar, although Qualcomm cut a few corners to keep the cost down. The Snapdragon 808 will have two instead of four Cortex A57 high performance cores and four frugal Cortex A53 cores for easier tasks.

This will be a dual-core that is indeed a six-core chip, but this suddenly becomes a philosophical issue more than a technical one. This is another chip for the 20nm high-end SoC market, the runner up to Snapdragon 810 that is designed to end up the faster of two, and of course somewhat pricier.

Snapdragon 808 SoC also supports LTE Advanced with Cat 6 300 Mbit speeds, RF 360 and the VIVE 2-stream 802.11ac with multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) wireless, the same feature as the Snapdragon 810. The main differences are in the CPU and GPU department. The Snapdragon 808 supports 2560x1600 displays instead of 4K, it has two instead of four Cortex A57 cores and LPDDR3 memory support instead of LPDDR4 on the Snapdragon 810.

The Adreno 418 GPU used in the Snapdragon 808 SoC will enable OpenGL ES 3.1 with hardware tessellation, geometry shaders, programmable blending. It also brings 20 percent higher performance compared to its predecessor, the Adreno 330. The new GPU also enables a new level of GPU security for secure composition and management of premium video and other multimedia.

The Snapdragon 808 includes 12-bit dual Image Signal Processors and frame buffer compression and external 4K display support via HDMI1.4. We expect to see it shipping in the second half of 2014 and to see it in devices in 2015. It is an interesting alternative to the 810, as it retains much of its functionality without sacrificing too much performance.

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