Introducing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – Qualcomm’s new 4nm mobile platform with Armv9 cores

Introducing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – Qualcomm’s new 4nm mobile platform with Armv9 cores

Introducing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – Qualcomm’s new 4nm mobile platform with Armv9 cores

News unit Qualcomm Company on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 ( 9 December 1400) during the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii about the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform unveiled; This processor is Qualcomm’s first chipset after is a change in the naming method of Snapdragon chips and in it, by abandoning the three-digit number system, only 8 is used to indicate the position of the processor and then one number is used to show its generation. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 as Qualcomm’s first experience in using Arm’s new V9 architecture with architecture 4 nm Samsung is made and apart from the processor, in graphics, ISP, artificial intelligence and communication modem. It has experienced great changes.

It doesn’t say that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 should be a direct successor to the Snapdragon 888 called last year where despite the change in the naming method We continue to face Qualcomm’s highest processing solution, which is expected to appear in most flagships of 2022 from various brands. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, of course, this year with a fierce competitor called Dimensity 9000 from MediaTek, which is made with 4nm TSMC N4 lithography and despite many similarities to Qualcomm’s solution, in many areas (at least on paper) overtakes The competition between these two chipsets and the third player that Samsung will probably add to this group soon, will add extra excitement. will add to the mobile processor market in the coming months.

With this introduction, it is time to learn about the different parts of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.

Processing cores

Cortex-A710 ,Cortex-X2 and Cortex-A510 at the high, mid and low levels respectively. In this case, Qualcomm has also used the 4+3+1 configuration that has been used over the past years (precisely since Snapdragon 855 in 2018 so far) has shown successful performance.

single core Cortex-X2 present at the highest level of this processor It uses a maximum frequency of 3.0 GHz, which is compared to the frequency of 2.84 GHz Qualcomm’s traditional 1GHz has been slightly faster for the more powerful core, but still a bit far from the 3.05GHz frequency of the same X2 core in Dimensity 9000 has the first 4nm processor with X2 and Cortex-A710 cores. Leaving aside the frequency, what seems interesting in the meantime is Qualcomm’s claim of 20% faster performance and 30% better energy consumption, especially the latter is expressed while Samsung’s own foundry is the company responsible for making Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for Qualcomm. has been in charge, speaks of only 16% reduction in energy consumption in the transition from 5 to 4 nm lithography, and it is not clear in which part the 30% reduction in energy consumption claimed by Qualcomm occurred apart from the change in lithography. Some experts, of course, have raised the possibility that Qualcomm has talked about this lower energy consumption by citing Arm’s statements about the completely lower consumption of X2 cores at a maximum performance point (compared to X1 cores). The single-core X2 of this chipset uses 1 MB of L2 cache as expected.

In the middle to 3 cores Cortex-A710 with We get a frequency of 2.5 GHz, which is 80 MHz higher than Qualcomm’s usual practice for middle cores. The L2 cache memory of each of these cores is also 512 KB. In the Dimensity 9000, 3 cores similar to the A710 were used with the same cache but with a much higher maximum frequency of 2.85 GHz. Finally, at the lowest level, four 1.8 GHz cores A510, which seem to be no different from the Dimensity 9000, but here Qualcomm, unlike MediaTek, uses a unified core approach ( merged-core), which is mostly used for better space optimization, instead of 4 real cores, it actually uses two A510 units, each of which has two cores and shares a NEON/SIMD pipeline and an L2 cache. Qualcomm’s logic in using this arrangement is summarized in this statement that under normal conditions with fewer processing threads active and lower processor engagement, a single core’s access to the larger L2 cache memory (which is only shared between two cores) increases performance. It leads to better and more efficient energy consumption. Qualcomm has not announced the size of this memory for the A510 cores, even though it directly refers to the effect of access to a larger cache memory; The size, if it is not 512 kilobytes and is half of that amount, 256 kilobytes, like the real quad cores of Dimensity 9000, it will make Qualcomm’s logic and its aggressive tools ineffective against Mediatek.

6 MB of L3 cache memory for this set in Considered (8 MB in Dimensity 9000), which Qualcomm says is the result of a decision to balance system performance across work goals. The system’s 4MB cache is unchanged from before, and the 3,200MHz LPDDR5 memory controllers (quad 16-bit channels) also function as before. Processors still don’t have access to cache memory to improve DRAM latency similar to the Snapdragon 888, and despite the fact that the Dimensity 9000 is likely to be lower than the competition in terms of DRAM latency, it instead shares 14MB of cache memory. It has processors, which is a big difference compared to the 6 MB Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Of course, it is still too early to talk about the superiority of each of these two chipsets in this field, and to announce the winner, one should wait until they appear in real devices.


At the same time With the change of Qualcomm’s decision in naming the processing platform, the graphic naming system of this processor also has different conditions; Where what is mentioned as “Qualcomm Adreno GPU” on the specification page of this chipset is actually known as Adreno 730 in other sources.

According to Qualcomm, The new graphics in Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, although it looks the same as the previous generation, has experienced major architectural changes that improve its performance and energy consumption. Among these things, the optimization of simultaneous processing is pointed out to significantly improve performance when performing various tasks in the real world, which does not appear directly in tests and benchmarks. According to the manufacturer, this graphics provides 30% faster maximum performance than the Snapdragon 888, which leads to 25% less energy consumption if it is equated for the same performance.

Although it is still not possible to make a direct comparison between the processing power of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 graphics with the 10-core graphics Mali-G710 present in

Qualcomm In this part, Elite Gaming has mentioned the new features related to the game, one of which has freed the hands of the developers in creating a balance between performance and energy consumption, and the other, called Adreno Frame Motion Engine, allows rendering of games with twice the frame rate. It provides the same power consumption (or maintains the frames per second by halving the power consumption), and Volumetric Rendering also makes changes to the lighting effects at the “desktop graphics” level. Another image-based Variable Rate Shading Pro or VRS option is the new feature of this section, which is designed with the aim of incorporating this feature into more games.

Video Signal Processor (ISP)

Obsession Qualcomm has also managed to change the naming method to ISP or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 image signal processor, where this vital unit of the chipset has also been renamed and is called Snapdragon Sight. The first and biggest option mentioned about this new ISP is its support for 18-bit color depth per channel, which is a big change from the previous generation’s 14-bit. This upgrade takes place while today’s mobile image sensors still use 12-bit analog-to-digital converters, but with the presence of new HDR techniques (such as Staggered HDR present in the 200-megapixel sensor ISOCELL HP1 (Samsung company, where readings related to different exposure situations are obtained from the sensor one after the other) This situation has changed and new phones can achieve results with higher bit depth after taking images much faster and recombining them.

P Qualcomm’s new video signal processor is also a triple ISP system that receives 4,096 times more camera data and has four additional steps of dynamic range to cover very bright to very dark areas. This ISP can combine 240 12-megapixel photos into one image with different bit depth, and thanks to the 3.2-gigapixel output power, it can also take 64-megapixel photos at the same time as 8K HDR video.

An important point in this section is that although the output of 3.2 Gbps of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is much lower than the 9 Gbps of Dimensity 9000, it is also possible that Qualcomm and MediaTek have used different criteria for this measurement, where MediaTek calculates the output of sensor pixels with lower bit depth in each frame and Qualcomm considers pixels with full bit depth from the ISP itself. The set also supports 8K HDR10+ video and 18-bit RAW photography (provided the camera hardware supports it, of course). This ISP still does not support AV1 decoding, and while Google and YouTube are actively moving forward in promoting AV1, and its adoption rate is increasing on major platforms such as Netflix, this is a big negative point for Qualcomm. .

Qualcomm’s new product also benefits from a better dark mode where, unlike the Snapdragon 888, which used only 6 photos to form a photo in the dark environment, this number increases to 30 photos in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has done. Thanks to artificial intelligence or AI, other optimizations have also occurred in this field, including changes in automatic exposure, automatic focus, automatic face detection technology, a dedicated bokeh engine (to add a portrait effect in 4K videos, something similar Cinematic mode in the family iPhone 13 but at a higher resolution than 1080p) and finally the ultrawide engine mentioned that the latter is used to correct bends and chromatic aberrations in the ultrawide camera.

Qualcomm has also used a fourth ISP in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which Unlike the main triple ISP, the device is always turned on to power the camera. The idea of ​​an always-on camera, which Qualcomm hopes developers will welcome, is used for things like automatically turning off the device’s screen when the phone is placed on its back or detecting other people who are looking at the phone’s screen. Of course, this idea will not be without security concerns, but Qualcomm pointed out that all the information obtained from this camera is only stored in the phone itself and its use will be subject to user approval (just like the always-on microphone to access the facilities). Voice Intelligent Assistant), describes this feature as more security oriented.

Artificial Intelligence

Hexagon 780 IP block in chipset Snapdragon 888, a big change for the flagship processor Last year it was Qualcomm; Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, however, moving away from a separate DSP/AI (digital signal processor/artificial intelligence) architecture, uses a single block with the simple name of Hexagon, which is the seventh generation of Qualcomm’s artificial intelligence engine and is simultaneously capable of Numerical operations will be vector and tensor. The most important change in this set, according to Qualcomm, is doubling the shared memory of this block, which will bring better performance for larger machine learning models.

Qualcomm this time Unlike Snapdragon 888 and which supported 26 and 32 trillion operations per second (TOPS) respectively to the TOPS figure of the chip The new set did not mention the doubling of tensor output power and fewer increments for numerical and vector calculations. Qualcomm has also introduced this block 4 times faster than the previous generation, without mentioning the details, and has announced a 70% improvement in energy consumption. Leica Leitz Look filters to create better bokeh effects, artificial intelligence-based natural language processing in collaboration with Hugging Face to analyze and prioritize notifications and act as a personal assistant, and analyzing user vocal patterns in collaboration with Sonde Health to detect user exposure He mentioned health risks including asthma, depression and COVID-19.

5G modem – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 internal 5G modem is another important change of this processor. compared to the past; In the structure of this chipset modem

In other areas of communication, this chipset supports Wi-Fi 6 and 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, and what is called Snapdragon Sound Technology, with Qualcomm aptX Lossless Technology, it is possible to stream so-called lossless sound with CD quality. provides According to Qualcomm, this is the company’s first mobile platform that includes Bluetooth LE audio features such as broadcast audio (broadcasting one or more audio streams from one source to countless recipients), stereo record, and what Qualcomm calls voice back-channel in the game. remembers, supports.

Security options

The addition of a new security layer called Trust Management Engine or TME is the last important thing to mention about this collection, which in addition to being the first platform A mobile phone that supports the standard is called Android Ready SE, from keeping things like It also supports digital car keys, driver’s licenses, ID cards and e-wallets.

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