Speculated highlights include an energy-efficient 14nm architecture, 35 percent speedier Hydra CPU and A530 GPU with 40 percent performance increase compared to Adreno 430.
After essentially muscling Nvidia out of the high-end smartphone picture, Qualcomm faced a dreamy monopoly situation as far as supplying chips for handhelds manufactured by everyone from Samsung to LG to HTC was concerned.
Unfortunately, both for the San Diego-based semiconductor giant and industry’s stability as a whole, Snapdragon 810’s glitches proved maybe QCM isn’t ready for such overbearing pressure. All of a sudden, second-tier MediaTek became a flagship player to consider, and Samsung pulled a rabbit out of the hat like that, cranking up Exynos 7420 distribution at the last minute.
Still, without Qualcomm, many Android device manufacturers are lost, which is why we’re ecstatic to hear the Snapdragon 820, aka MSM8996, might get a formal introduction next Tuesday ahead of a late 2015 or early 2016 commercial bow.
Alas, the super-premium HTCs, Sonys and LGs slated for rollouts over the coming months may need to compromise and either adopt a fickle octa-core 810 SoC or mediocre hexa 808 silicon. Once the 820 becomes ready for primetime though, the Exynos 7420 is in for quite the fierce competition.
According to well-connected and fairly trustworthy inside sources, the move from 20 to 14nm production will bring “significant power and thermal improvements” to the platform. Before entering sarcastic mode and requesting hard numbers in lieu of marketing drivel, let us drop some very explicit knowledge.
Integrated Cat 10 LTE modem, 35 percent faster Hydra/Kryo CPU (despite a predicted core count drop from eight to four), 40 percent snappier and 30 percent more frugal Adreno 530 GPU, better security, dual channel LPDDR4 memory support, USB 3.0 connectivity, a dedicated low-power sensor for emerging always-on use-cases and HDMI 2.0-enabled Vesa DSC 1.1 compression.
Now that’s what we call a major incremental upgrade, and a prospectively great comeback story. Hopefully, nothing unexpected will hinder Qualcomm’s resurgence to the top.