Many years ago, when we mentioned the chip, we basically meant the CPU. Later, in the era of smartphones, the CPU was just a part of the mobile phone chip. The chip is more professionally called SoC (System on Chip).
The release of Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 has once again strengthened this perception: the SoC of smartphones has become more powerful and more versatile, far beyond the two units of CPU and GPU.
In fact, at Qualcomm’s technical communication meeting, the part about chip manufacturing, CPU architecture and performance was just a brief introduction-a brand-new 1+3+4 structure consisting of 1 Cortex-X1 super core and 3 Cortex A78 performance cores It is composed of 4 Cortex A55 efficiency cores, among which the super-large core frequency can reach 2.84GHz, the large core frequency is 2.4GHz, and the small core frequency is 1.8GHz. More emphasis is on this newly released and newly named Qualcomm Snapdragon What kind of experience improvement 888 SoC can bring to users.
After the official release of Snapdragon 888 yesterday, more than a dozen Android mobile phone manufacturers from A (ASUS, ASUS) to Z (ZTE, ZTE) have stated that they will soon launch high-end smartphones based on this flagship SoC. In the past, high-end mobile phones had high-end performance, but nowadays, high-end mobile phones require high-end network connection experience, imaging functions, and gaming experience in addition to high-end performance; in addition, the level of artificial intelligence can also affect the overall experience of mobile phones.
As a result, the focus of the update of Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 has also expanded: 5G&Wi-Fi 6 speed increase, more powerful shooting functions, wonderful game performance support and a huge jump in AI performance.
Internet speed is like a knife, the key lies in the cat
This generation of Snapdragon 888 uses an integrated 5G baseband on the flagship chip. It integrates Qualcomm’s third-generation 5G modem and radio frequency system-Snapdragon X60. It also supports 5G millimeter wave and Sub-6 GHz frequency bands. 5G full Netcom. In addition, thanks to the 5nm advanced process technology, it is expected that the Android flagship equipped with this SoC will perform better in 5G power consumption next year, and the battery life will be longer.
In terms of network speed increase, this generation of Snapdragon 888 has also been greatly improved because of its support for 5G carrier aggregation technology. In theory, the Snapdragon 888 model can achieve the world’s fastest commercial 5G network speed, bringing downloads up to 7.5Gbps Speed, and upload speed of 3Gbps.
This download speed means that users can use fragmented time or emergency situations to download the files they want, such as downloading a TV series for watching on the way in a few minutes before the plane takes off.
In addition to the comprehensive and fast support for 5G, Snapdragon 888 can also make Wi-Fi connections and Bluetooth connections smoother.
The support of Wi-Fi 6 is naturally not a problem. The latest Wi-Fi 6E standard will increase the speed of Wi-Fi connection again and improve congestion due to the addition of the 6GHz frequency band. The two technologies of Bluetooth 5.2 and Bluetooth dual antenna will comprehensively enhance the experience of wireless headsets in terms of connection stability, connection range and sound quality.
It can be seen from this that Qualcomm's technical layout is far more than the processor or baseband field. Basically, as long as there is a data connection, Qualcomm will be there. After all, Qualcomm's brand name is a co-writing of Quality Communication.
Shooting is more fun
If you take the time dimension a little longer, you will find that the improvement of the smart phone's ability to take pictures can accumulate steps, even thousands of miles. From the very beginning, a camera with a few megapixels that was stretched to face night scenes and backlit scenes has now evolved into a "microscope", a "night vision device" and a "telescope"…
This is because the camera's image sensor has become larger, because of the addition of multi-camera systems, and of course, because of the continuous improvement of SoC processing capabilities.
On Snapdragon 888, its support for shooting capabilities has also reached a new level. The most important thing is the addition of 3 ISPs (Image Signal Processor). This is the first time that Qualcomm Spectra supports 3 ISPs.
Now generally high-end mobile phones are equipped with a wide-angle + main camera + telephoto multi-camera combination. The multi-camera combination can cover more focal lengths, and the lens combination can play new functions such as portrait blur, and many mobile phones now have 1 The main camera of 100 million pixels will challenge the performance of the ISP image signal processor.
The 3 ISPs on the Snapdragon 888 can allow the phone to record 3 4K HDR videos at the same time, and it can also support three 28-megapixel lenses to take pictures at the same time. This is very friendly to creators, they can get three different at the same time. Video or picture material with focal length.
In addition, three ISPs working at the same time can also solve the old problem. For example, many Android phones in the past were zooming, and they would feel stuck when switching between different lenses. Follow-up phones equipped with Snapdragon 888 can solve this problem from the root cause, Spectra 580 The triple concurrency feature of ISP's triple ISP can support the mobile phone to run three cameras at the same time in the background, so that no matter which camera you want to switch to, you can quickly switch over, and the camera switch will become as silky as Dove.
For Qualcomm, which provides the hardware foundation, software algorithm vendors can make unprecedented functions on this basis. At the technology summit where the Snapdragon 888 was released, the camera algorithm provider Hongsoft showed more possibilities for the combination of 3 ISPs and AI: the phone automatically adjusts the focus to track the moving subject, no matter how far away the subject is from the lens , The proportion of the screen occupied by it remains unchanged. This means that with hardware upgrades and smart algorithms, novices can also obtain professional photographer-like skills when shooting with mobile phones.
AI has more functions, such as the 3A algorithm mentioned by Qualcomm: auto focus, auto exposure, auto white balance. Spectra 580 also uses Qualcomm's 10th generation 3A algorithm, which is also the first 3A algorithm empowered by AI, which can be said to improve the image quality of mobile phones to a whole new level.
It is inevitable to talk about performance in shooting data. Although shooting is an art, technology can provide a larger stage for art: For example, Snapdragon 888 supports shooting in the HEIF format with native 10-bit color depth, and users can shoot More than 1 billion color photos, this is also an important breakthrough. The higher definition, more details and more vivid colors brought by the 10-bit HEIF format are impossible to achieve with the previous 8-bit tone mapping JPEG method . Spectra 580 ISP can process up to 2.7 billion pixels of data per second, which means that 120 frames per second can be captured, and each frame is 12 million pixels; the low-light shooting performance of Snapdragon 888 is also improved, even at 0.1lux brightness (Almost completely black) low-light shooting is also possible.
It can be said that in the past we said that photography is a technology that uses light. Now that the hardware performance is more powerful and the AI algorithm is more advanced, mobile photography has completely entered the era of computational photography, which can almost be said to be the magic of using light. The significance is that it allows novice photographers to take good photos, and allows photographers to have more room to play. On the one hand, the lower limit is raised, and the upper limit on the other hand is raised.
The game will be more hardcore
A few years ago, mobile games were still at the bottom end of the game contempt chain. Would console and PC gamers think that rubbing the phone screen is also a game? Even watching Bubble Shooter is considered a game?
But with "League of Legends", "Call of Duty", "PUBG Mobile" and other PC games have become mobile games, the current mobile games not only seek commercial success, but also want to seek a breakthrough in quality, the traditional gun car ball Heavy games and MOBA are increasingly appearing on mobile game platforms.
Matching heavy games is the rapid improvement in the level of game graphics, which naturally poses a huge challenge to the graphics performance of the SoC.
This time, the GPU performance of the Snapdragon 888 has increased by 35% compared to the previous generation Snapdragon 865. It can be said to be the biggest increase in the history of Adreno GPU, bringing the most powerful Adreno GPU performance, while reducing power consumption by 20%. This energy efficiency improvement provides a solid foundation for game support. For example, with the high refresh rate screen that is now standard on flagship phones, Snapdragon 888 can support mobile phones to bring super smooth gaming experience.
It seems that resolution and frame rate are already the basic part of mobile games. In addition, the screen and control performance are actually the advanced parts that determine the game experience.
Snapdragon 888 supports Qualcomm Game Quick Touch technology, which can increase the touch response speed by 20%, which is very important when playing competitive games, making the control at critical moments more handy and the touch response more sensitive.
The previous Snapdragon 865 brought end game-level features such as GPU driver update and end-game forward rendering. Now the third-generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming supported by Snapdragon 888 brings another important end-game level to the mobile terminal. Features-Variable Rate Shading, Snapdragon 888 is also the first mobile platform to support variable resolution rendering on the mobile terminal. After using variable resolution rendering, the overall performance of the game can be increased by up to 30%. This can make the game run smoother, and in addition can run longer with lower power consumption. It will also provide game developers with more creative space to make full use of hardware and provide a larger and more unique experience for mobile game creation.
In addition to the aforementioned support for 10-bit deep HDR images on the shooting side, Snapdragon 888 can also support True 10-bit HDR game images on the game screen.
Nowadays, playing end-game games on mobile phones is actually not a joke. On the one hand, the performance of the mobile phone SoC is now sufficient to support the fine graphics required by hard-core games. I believe that it is inevitable that technologies such as ray tracing will appear on mobile phones in the future. On the other hand, the high speed and low latency of 5G and WiFi6 also make it possible to support cloud gaming.
When talking about how Snapdragon 888 can make mobile phone shooting more powerful, I emphasized its AI capabilities. In fact, this time, Snapdragon 888 has an unprecedented increase in AI performance: now it can achieve 260,000 per second. Powerful computing power of 100 million operations (26 TOPS), and the performance per watt is up to 3 times higher than the previous generation platform.
By the generation of Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm's AI engine has developed to the sixth generation: the architecture of its core Hexagon 780 processor has been greatly changed compared to the past, and its efficiency has been greatly improved. When these AI capabilities are used in image shooting, voice assistants, games, and network connections, they can provide a smarter and more convenient user experience.
Complementing this 6th generation AI engine is also the 2nd generation Qualcomm sensor hub. Thanks to a dedicated low-power AI processor, it can sense the user's situation and combine new data from 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth , It can achieve functions such as screen wake-up, raising the hand to light up the screen, user activity recognition and voice event detection.
It can be said that AI can't do anything alone, but it can improve the experience of other functions. Of course, this requires the efforts of the entire industry chain, such as hardware manufacturers such as Xiaomi OPPO vivo, algorithm providers such as Hongsoft, and Tencent Such game developers work together to improve the ecology.
As mentioned at the beginning, our perception of chips has been changing. The changes since the launch of Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, from the initial emphasis on CPU and GPU performance, to the emphasis on connection performance in the 4G era, to the interpretation of what AI engines can do in the AI era , And the experience in these two years is fully blooming. As for the current generation of Snapdragon 888, it puts the user experience improvement and industrial ecological coordination in the first place.
The release of the Snapdragon 8 Series SoC every year is of great significance. After all, most of the Android flagship phones on the market will use this SoC, and the experience of Android flagship phones is deeply bound to it. From this point of view, Qualcomm's positioning is not only a chip company or a technology company, but also an ecological company.
After all, compared to other companies, or compared to the past, Qualcomm is increasingly considering user experience issues and paying more and more attention to user experience.
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