Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Opens More Performance in Artificial Intelligence

Most of the smartphones that are on the market today have a SoC manufactured by Qualcomm. The Snapdragon line has, over the last 11 years, equipped more than one billion smartphones.


Qualcomm today announced its new SoC (system-on-a-chip) that will equip future models of the very top of the line that will be launched next year. As the name implies, this processor is the direct successor to Snapdragon 845, released in December of last year.

The company introduced the Snapdragon 855, which has among its highlights the introduction of the company’s 4th generation of artificial intelligence technology, promising a 3X jump in performance, the introduction of 5G ultra-fast connectivity technology and a new digital recognition feature which operates underneath the screen.

The 7 nanometers reach the Snapdragon processors

The new chip is based on the latest 7-nanometer technology, which increases performance and efficiency, and now has a dedicated processor for image computing, making it possible for smartphones equipped with this model to quickly recognize images in a scene, something important for both improving the quality of photos and interacting with augmented reality experiences.


For the distribution of the cluster, as it has been filtered until now, Qualcomm would have opted firstly for a group consisting of four cores at 1.8GHz. It would be four cores with Cortex ARM architecture of low consumption to perform fewer demanding tasks. Second, three extra high-performance cores that would run at 2.4GHz. Finally, a single a single core at 2.8GHz. A total of eight cores distributed in a tri-cluster design.

Regarding the GPU, the new Adreno 640 would be incorporated. However, Qualcomm has not disclosed all the technical details of its new processor during the presentation, so we will wait to know them to update this information.

Dedicated NPU for artificial intelligence

The Snapdragon 855 triples the power in artificial intelligence compared to the previous generation. This is mainly due to the incorporation of a dedicated NPU. What is this NPU for? Primarily to improve the results in photography and video.

The graphics chip integrates computational photography algorithms, a series of additions that we have already seen in 2018 as various manufacturers have added to their terminals to improve features such as portrait mode or solve complicated scenes such as night scenes.


The company also announced a new feature, the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor, a sensor that installed underneath the display is capable of recognizing a digital in three dimensions, rather than the current 2D standard. In this way, the company’s resource obtains a greater degree of security and also operate efficiently even if there is dirt or water in the user’s hand, a situation that in general the sensors in previous technologies fail.

According to Qualcomm, in addition to tripling the performance of its platform in artificial intelligence, the company claims that its product is 2x faster than another platform available in the Android world and significantly faster than another rival at 7nm (possibly a mention of the bionic A12 from Apple).

More speed with 5G

In the opening of the conference, Qualcomm highlighted how 5G might be of far greater importance than what 4G and 3G have had in recent years. It should happen mainly because the technology will be used in the next wave of products connected to the internet, such as cars and appliances.

Mass adoption of 5G should also happen in less time. Unlike 4G, which first came to the United States and later expanded to other regions, next year will mark the launch of 5G in all major technology markets in the world, including China, Europe, Japan, Korea South, and Australia.


But that does not mean that smartphones will be left out. The company knows that these devices are the main form of Internet access for millions of people and that they should continue to receive increasingly powerful functions.

For them, Snapdragon 855 will be optimized for gaming with Snapdragon Elite Gaming technology and the use of computer vision to recognize images and enhance the photos and videos captured by the devices.

The 3D Sonic Sensor already does a three-dimensional sweep of your finger to unlock the smartphone. It is a different method than currently used in digital readers under the screen, promising to be faster and much more secure. It appears that the technology will be used in the Samsung Galaxy S10, with the announcement scheduled for early next year.

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