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Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is here, defining the next generation of premium smartphones

Qualcomm has announced the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip at its Snapdragon Summit 2022 in Hawaii. This is the next iteration of its system-on-a-chip (SoC) that will be used in many of next year’s best smartphones.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will set a new standard for connected computing with intelligent and groundbreaking AI. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is expected in flagship devices like the OnePlus 11 and Samsung Galaxy S23, as well as other smartphones from ASUS ROG, Motorola, Sony, Xiaomi, and more. The first devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 are set to debut as early as the end of 2022.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip

“We are passionate about enabling people to do more, so we designed Snapdragon with the user at the center. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will revolutionize the landscape of flagship smartphones in 2023,” Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said. “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 delivers groundbreaking AI, unparalleled connectivity, and champion-level gameplay, enabling consumers to enhance every experience on their most trusted device.”

One of the key new features of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is Snapdragon Smart, which is powered by the most advanced Qualcomm AI engine. Thanks to Qualcomm’s Hexagon processor, users will get faster natural language processing with multilanguage translation, as well as even more advanced camera AI features. There are also new architectural upgrades to the Hexagon processor, including micro tile inferencing and a larger tensor accelerator, which means 4.35x better performance in AI processes.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be the first to support INT4, a revolutionary AI precision format, so there will be a 60% improvement in performance and watts with AI inferencing. On top of that, the Qualcomm Sensing Hub with dual AI processors will let users make intuitive experiences with their own custom wake words.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will revolutionize the landscape of flagship smartphones in 2023.

Snapdragon Sight will be ushering in a new age of professional camera software thanks to the first Cognitive ISP. With this, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can automatically enhance your photos and videos in rea; time thanks to semantic segmentation. This basically means an AI neural network will help the camera contextually be aware of faces, facial features, hair, clothes, skies, and so much more. Simply put, everything is optimized individually, with every detail getting customized professional image tuning.

There are also new image sensors, including Sony Semiconductor Solutions, which is the first to develop quad digital overlap HDR technology that’s now finely tuned for Snapdragon. Samsung also has the ISOCELL HP3, a 200-megapixel image sensor that is optimized for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which should deliver professional-quality photos and video. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also the first with AV1 codec support for video playback at up to 8K HDR at 60 frames per second (fps).

Gaming on a smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Gaming will also be a very big deal with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. This new chip introduces real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing for lifelike light, reflections, and illuminations for mobile titles. There’s then the upgraded Qualcomm Adreno GPU that grants 25% faster performance over the previous generation, and there’s also 40% more power efficiency with Qualcomm’s Kryo CPU. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also provides the world’s first optimized support for Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans Framework.

Connectivity is another big focus with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as it’s touted as having the most advanced platform for 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Utilizing the power of AI, the Qualcomm 5G AI processor should get you the fastest 5G upload and download speeds, as well as better coverage, latency, and power efficiency. And it has support for 5G+5G/4G Dual-Sim Dual-Active, so you can essentially use two 5G SIM cards at once. With Qualcomm FastConnect 7800, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has the lowest latency Wi-Fi 7 and dual Bluetooth connectivity.

Snapdragon Sound technology helps create a premium and immersive experience when it comes to music, calls, and gaming. There’ll be support for spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking (similar to Apple’s spatial audio with AirPods), and Snapdragon will also support 48kHz lossless music streaming. Gaming will have low latency at 48ms, and with a built-in voice backchannel, communication with teammates is as clear as ever.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 displayed on a smartphone

All data and information will be protected with Snapdragon Secure. This means the latest technology for isolation, cryptography, key management, attestation, and more. It’s all designed to safeguard your data and privacy through a premium level of protection to limit exposure and exploitation of your information.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sounds very capable, and we should expect to see it in a lot of premium flagship devices from manufacturers in the months to come.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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