Qualcomm's Next Mobile Chip Will Be Faster, Support VR Efforts
The Snapdragon 821 will feature a faster CPU and GPU, load apps 10 percent faster and support Qualcomm's VR SDK and Google's Daydream platform.Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 821 mobile processor will offer improvements in CPU and graphics speeds, support the chip maker's virtual reality technology and likely begin appearing in new smartphones later this year. Company officials first unveiled the Snapdragon 821 in July, saying the new system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be more of a complement than a replacement for the current popular Snapdragon 820. In a post on the company blog Aug. 31, Qualcomm Marketing Director Mark Shedd released more details about the chip, including the improvements in CPU performance and support for Google's upcoming Android "Nougat" mobile operating system release. "Between major technology introductions, Qualcomm Technologies always looks for additional opportunities to innovate," Shedd wrote. "We regularly introduce new functionality and optimize performance, respond to customer feedback, and refine existing features—all with the aim of improving Snapdragon processors so OEMs can build new features as well as innovative or improved user experiences into their next round of premium tier devices." The Snapdragon 820 launched earlier this year, and marked the company's return to building custom ARM-based CPU cores following problems last year with the 810, which used off-the-shelf ARM CPUs. The Snapdragon 820 included Qualcomm's new Kyro CPU and a wide range of integrated components, including the Adreno GPU, a digital signal processor (DSP) and machine learning capabilities. The chip powers more than 115 premium smartphones and tablets from such OEMs as Xiaomi, LG Electronics, HTC and Samsung, which had passed on the Snapdragon 810.
The 820 also is part of the company's push into emerging markets like connected cars and virtual reality.