Barely hours after announcing the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 for wearable devices, Qualcomm confirmed the date for its next Snapdragon Summit where the company is expected to unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for smartphones. Qualcomm hosts its annual Summit in December, and one of the main draws at the event is the unveiling of its latest flagship mobile SoC. Last year, the company held the event in Hawaii like every year, and announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 as its new top-shelf mobile processor. The chip powers most of the current flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy S22 series, the OnePlus 10 Pro, and the Moto Edge 30 Pro, among others.
Qualcomm followed up the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 earlier this year, bringing iterative updates over its predecessor. The biggest difference between the two chips is in their manufacturing process. While the older chip was manufactured by Samsung on its 4nm process node, the new chip is fabricated on TSMC’s 4nm process. In terms of tech specs, both have the same core configuration, but they’re clocked slightly higher in the new chip compared to the standard version. Qualcomm also claims enhanced GPU performance, a faster AI engine, and better battery efficiency in the new SoC.
The next Snapdragon Summit will be held from November 15-17 in Hawaii. While the event is typically held in December every year, Qualcomm has moved it forward by a month this year. The company hasn’t officially confirmed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will make its debut at the upcoming event, but it is very likely to be the case if years of precedent is anything to go by. Following the unveil, many of Qualcomm’s partner OEMs and Android manufacturers are expected to announce new flagship smartphones powered by the new chip.
In terms of what to expect from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, multiple leaks over the past few weeks have revealed several details about the upcoming chip. According to reports, it is expected to be manufactured by Taiwanese firm TSMC using a 4nm process node and will have the model number SM8550. According to Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station, it will come with four different CPU clusters with a 1+2+2+3 core configuration as opposed to the 1+3+4 combination in the Gen 1 chips. The CPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will reportedly be spearheaded by a single Cortex-X3 core and comprise of 2x Cortex-A720 cores, 2x Cortex-A710 cores and 3x Cortex-A510 cores.
The SoC will also reportedly include the Adreno 740 GPU which should pack even more firepower than the already-impressive Adreno 730 in the Gen 1 chips. Meanwhile, the decision to reduce the number of Cortex-A510 efficiency cores from four to three is an interesting one, as most mobile chipsets, including Apple’s A15 Bionic, have four efficiency cores to keep power consumption and thermals in check. So while the change in the core structure in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 might offer a slight performance gain, it remains to be seen whether it will also result in higher power consumption and increased temperatures under sustained workload.