Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Qualcomm’s 2019 flagship mobile chipset will be the 5G-toting Snapdragon 855

Qualcomm’s 2019 flagship mobile chipset will be the 5G-toting Snapdragon 855

The companies said they will unveil a proof-of-concept Samsung 5G phone this week at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui.

The forthcoming 855 has a whole host of other improvements over the current Snapdragon 845, including dedicated AI processing and XR (extended reality) processing for the future of mobile device capabilities.

One final note about the Snapdragon 855: Qualcomm says that it will be part of what the company describes as Snapdragon Elite Gaming.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O on Tuesday unveiled a new generation of mobile phone processor chips that will power 5G smartphones in the United States as soon as next year. And the company says the new chip is optimized for gaming with improved graphics and audio performance.

That means the A12 Bionic is roughly 28% faster than the Snapdragon 845.

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It's not yet clear if this is sufficient to beat Google, Huawei, and Apple's latest ML accelerators, as Qualcomm's Hexagon processor used to be quite behind in terms of ML performance not too long ago.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips now power over a billion phones ranging from entry-level devices to flagship models, which is undoubtedly what the Snapdragon 855 is destined for in the first quarter of 2019.

The highlight of this year's event has been 5G, and the Snapdragon 855 SoC will be compatible with the new network band, bringing blazing fast broadband connectivity to smartphones. The new sensors from Qualcomm can recognize the fingerprints even if the display is dirty or covered with a screen protector.

Beyond that, Katouzian also pointed out that the 855 was created to trounce last-generation chipsets when it comes to AI performance - we can expect up to 3x performance gains when it comes to these complex computations. It will come as a separated modem that manufacturers will have to buy and integrate into their devices. Qualcomm released the world's first fully integrated 5G new air interface (5G NR) millimeter wave and 6GHz RF module for 5G smartphones and other mobile terminals. Qualcomm, of course, would argue that its annual launches provide consumers the best product they can get year in and year out, but as 5G looms on the horizon - and news that Apple's not getting in on it until at least 2020 - 2019 may be a tough sell from a silicon perspective.

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