Qualcomm Peels Back Curtain on the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform

Qualcomm introduced the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform. The latest of the 800-series flagship chipset is designed for immersive multimedia experiences including eXtended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence (AI), lightning-fast connectivity, and introduces the new secure processing unit (SPU) delivering vault-like security for premium, flagship mobile devices.

Visual capture and playback

Snapdragon 845 introduces an integrated Qualcomm Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and Qualcomm Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem. This means users can capture 64x more high-dynamic range colour information for video capture and playback on Ultra HD Premium displays, compared to previous generation. The new architectures bring high-performance, true-to-life cinematic video capture for 4K/Ultra HD videos, along with superior photography to flagship mobile devices.

The new Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem architecture is designed to deliver innovations for new XR experiences that span virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Snapdragon 845 is the first mobile platform to enable room-scale 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) with simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM)—for features such as wall-collision detection. Additionally, Snapdragon 845 introduces “Adreno foveation,” which substantially reduces power consumption, improves visual quality and boosts XR application performance, as compared to the previous generation.

AI

Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm’s third-generation AI mobile platform, delivering 3x improvement in overall AI performance. Simplifying how you take pictures and videos; enhancing your VR games, and making voice interaction natural. Snapdragon 845 improves voice-driven smart assistants with improved always-on keyword detection and ultra-low-power voice processing thanks to the performance from the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec (WCD9341) and low-power audio subsystem, allowing for all day voice interaction with your device.

With existing support for Google’s TensorFlow and Facebook’s Caffe/Caffe2 frameworks, the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK now supports Tensorflow Lite and the new Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), making it easy for developers to use their framework of choice, including Caffe2, CNTK and MxNet. Snapdragon 845 also supports Google’s Android NN API.

Security

The Snapdragon 845 introduces a hardware isolated subsystem called the secure processing unit (SPU), which is designed to add vault-like characteristics to existing layers of Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile security solutions. This allows for improved biometrics security used for authentication, as well as user or application data key management used to encrypt critical information.

Connectivity

The Snapdragon 845 integrates Qualcomm Technologies’ second-generation Gigabit LTE solution – the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. Its lightning-fast connection speeds allow users to enjoy XR experiences in more places, download a 3GB movie in less than 3 minutes and access large files or apps in the cloud as fast as those stored in their phones’ memory. The Snapdragon X20 modem supports LTE Category 18 peak download speeds of 1.2 Gbps, up to 5x carrier aggregation, License Assisted Access (LAA), Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE as well as 4×4 MIMO on up to 3 aggregated carriers.

Snapdragon 845 also includes diversity-enhanced 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi for more robust multi-gigabit coverage at speeds up to 4.6 Gbps, and integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi with advanced features, providing up to 16X faster connection setup, simultaneous dual-band support and 30% more capacity utilisation on carrier Wi-Fi networks, compared to the previous generation. Proprietary enhancements to Bluetooth 5 allow users to broadcast audio simultaneously to multiple wireless speakers, smartphones or other devices and are designed to reduce battery consumption of wireless earbuds by up to 50%.

Performance

The Snapdragon 845’s new architectures are being built to transform user experience while providing significant improvements in performance and battery life. The new camera and visual processing architectures will help Snapdragon 845 deliver up to 30% power reduction for video capture, games and XR applications. Graphics performance and power efficiencies will also garner up to a 30% improvement as a result of the new Adreno 630. The new Qualcomm Kryo 385 architecture, built on Arm Cortex technology, will see up to 25% performance uplift across gaming, application launch times, and performance intensive applications.

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is currently sampling to customers and is expected to begin shipping in commercial devices in early 2018. Snapdragon 845 will power devices such as smartphones, XR headsets and always connected PCs.

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform features include:

Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem
  • Ultra HD premium capture
  • Qualcomm Spectra Module Program, featuring Active Depth Sensing
  • MCTF video capture
  • Multi-frame noise reduction
  • High performance capture up to 16MP @60FPS
  • Slow motion video capture (720p @480 fps)
  • ImMotion computational photography
  • 30% improved graphics/video rendering and power reduction compared to previous generation
  • Room-scale 6 DoF with SLAM
  • Adreno foveation, featuring tile rendering, eye tracking, multiView rendering, fine grain preemption
  • 2K x 2K @ 120Hz, for 2.5x faster display throughput
  • Improved 6DoF with hand-tracking and controller support
Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 685 DSP Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem
  • 3rd Generation Hexagon Vector DSP (HVX) for AI and imaging
  • 3rd Generation Qualcomm All-Ways AwareTM Sensor Hub
  • Hexagon scalar DSP for audio
  • Support for 1.2 Gbps Gigabit LTE Category 18
  • License Assisted Access (LAA)
  • Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared radio spectrum
  • Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE (DSDV)
Kryo 385 CPU Secure Processing Unit
  • Four performance cores up to 2.8GHz (25 percent performance uplift compared to previous generation)
  • Four efficiency cores up to 1.8GHz
  • 2MB shared L3 cache (new)
  • 3MB system cache (new)
  • Biometric authentication (fingerprint, iris, voice, face)
  • User and app data protection
  • Integrated use-cases such as integrated SIM, Payments, and more
Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec(WCD934x): Connectivity
Playback:

  • Dynamic range: 130dB, THD+N: -109dB
  • Native DSD support (DSD64/DSD128), PCM up to 384kHz/32bit
  • Low power voice activation: 0.65mA

Record:

  • Dynamic range: 109dB, THD+N: -103dB
  • Sampling: Up to 192kHz/24bit
  • Multigigabit 11ad Wi-Fi with diversity module
  • Integrated 2×2 11ac Wi-Fi with Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) support
  • 11k/r/v: Carrier Wi-Fi enhanced mobility, fast acquisition and congestion mitigation
  • Bluetooth 5 with proprietary enhancements for ultra-low power wireless ear bud support and direct audio broadcast to multiple devices
Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+ 10-nanometer (nm) LPP FinFET process technology

 

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