Snapdragon 820 Gives Qualcomm a Better Start to 2016

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-03-09

It was just more than a year ago that Qualcomm, the world's largest mobile chip maker, suffered a significant blow when Samsung rejected the company's Snapdragon 810 system-on-a-chip (SoC) for its Galaxy S6 smartphone. Other device makers embraced the 64-bit chip, but losing Samsung hurt, and kicked off what became a difficult 2015, which included falling revenues, company restructuring, layoffs and regulatory investigations. A year later, Qualcomm seems to be rebounding with its new Snapdragon 820. A broad range of new smartphones shown off at the recent Mobile World Congress conference are being powered by Qualcomm's premium chip, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices. In an effort to get to market as quickly as possible with a 64-bit chip, Qualcomm officials had used an off-the-shelf ARM CPU design for the 810. Soon after reports about Samsung’s decision to use its own Exynos processors for the Galaxy S6 rather than the Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said his company would return to custom core designs for the 820 and beyond. The Snapdragon 820 comes with an array of new features, including Qualcomm's Kyro CPU.


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