Qualcomm has announced that its next high-end smartphone chipset is called the Snapdragon 888, and touts leaps forward in AI, gaming, and camera performance.
The few specs Qualcomm has confirmed so far for the Snapdragon 888 sound impressive at least. A new AI engine and Hexagon processor boast peak performance of 26 TOPS (tera operations per second), a huge leap from 15 TOPS in the 865. A new image signal processor delivers 35% more computational photography power – up to 2.7 gigapixels per second – while Qualcomm says the 888 includes its most significant GPU upgrade yet – though with no specifics yet.
Naturally it’s 5G-enabled, and will integrate the Snapdragon X60 5G modem, itself announced in February this year. That should mean Snapdragon 888 phones are able to support both mmWave and Sub-6 across all major bands worldwide, along with support for 5G multi-SIM and back-end network tech like carrier aggregation and dynamic spectrum sharing.
The biggest surprise here is the name. The company’s recent flagship chips were named the Snapdragon 865, 855, 845, and so on, leading to widespread expectation that this latest chip would be the Snapdragon 875. Not so, with Qualcomm instead opting for a name that’s presumably intended to evoke good luck – either that, or an upcoming move into the online gambling market.
What really matters is which upcoming phones will support the new chipset, and Xiaomi founder Lei Jun was quick to confirm that the upcoming Mi 11, expected to launch early next year, "will be the one of the first devices with Snapdragon 888.”
Xiaomi was the only manufacturer to name a specific device range, but other Snapdragon 888 phones are confirmed to be on the way from Asus, BlackShark, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, Vivo, and ZTE.
Qualcomm will deep dive into tech behind the Snapdragon 888 during tomorrow’s second day of the Snapdragon Summit, with the livestream kicking off at 7am PST/3pm BST.