\n

 

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Let’s begin with where this thermal and power efficiency is visually demonstrated. The GPU is responsible for pushing millions of pixels to your display and does so up to 60 times each second. During gameplay it is called upon to render 3D worlds in ultra-realistic detail, all while the CPU may calculate the artificial intelligence of the game characters or the physics of the explosion you just caused. All these high performance tasks could make other SoCs burn a lot of power, and generate a great deal of heat. Snapdragon SoCs have a history of being cooler than the competition.

\n

 

\n"},{"type":"youtube_playlist","id":"4mSD_EhgGSc","playlist":"PL7498F380EAA4F246"},{"type":"html","value":"

Mobile devices have a very different set of thermal constraints. In the archaic PC segment, desktop computers are housed in large enclosures and are cooled by thick metal heat-sinks with a large and often loud fan. In contrast, mobile devices are mere millimeters thin and are expected to be held in your pocket, your hand, or against your cheek. There are certain thermal thresholds that must be met for a handheld to be a viable product. Skin temperature is one of them. If the devices’ thermal threshold is surpassed, the SoC begins to throttle back its frequencies, and thus performance, in an effort to reduce the heat. This can have negative impacts on performance and overall user experience. 

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OEMs’ design decisions are able to help mitigate some of this heat. The proximity of high power components and the material used in the phone to dissipate the heat are some of the methods employed. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) actively works with OEMs to address their thermal needs. Before the handset is ever launched, QTI provides a thermal dashboard and model to help OEMs understand how their design decisions will impact performance and temperature. Still, metals, fancy plastics and PCB layout are not the only tools to solve this problem.

\n

Snapdragon processors are designed to enable lower power and thermal envelopes by a suite of features. The Adreno™ GPU is the visual center of Snapdragon, rendering 3D environments and painting pixels to your display. There are two different methods to render 3D images to the screen, deferred and direct rendering. Adreno utilizes both methods and dynamically switches between the two modes depending on which will deliver the best power efficiency. Deferred rendering breaks the scene into smaller tiles and renders them independently. Rendering smaller tiles consumes less memory and allows operations to remain on the GPU memory, and so these operations are not penalized for accessing the larger, longer latency external memory.

\n

Direct or immediate rendering does not buffer any content, but computes the scene as a whole and renders all pixels directly and immediately to the screen. While less efficient for accessing the external memory and potential overdraw, there are still some scenes or even parts of scenes that will benefit from this approach. Because it has the flexibility to decide between the two rendering methods based on the one that delivers the optimal power efficiency, this technology is called FlexRender™.

\n"},{"type":"brightcove","size":"large","video":{"nid":"23968","type":"video","title":"FlexRender","created":"1402426801","changed":"1417650112","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":false},"path":"/videos/flexrender","url":"/videos/flexrender","fields":{"videoDescription":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"What’s designed to ensure your graphics are quick, no matter how complex? That would be FlexRender. FlexRender delivers efficient graphics processing by dynamically switching between different delivery modes. It’s an exclusive technology built into our Adreno GPUs that help render graphics for gaming that’s faster and more power efficient."}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary"},"videoThumbnail":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/video/brightcove/1414329538001_2732840757001_vs-525597d5e4b079fd84904ea5-672293879001.jpg?itok=A1qCkZRt","alt":"","title":"","height":225,"width":302}],"fieldType":"image"},"videoLengthTime":{"values":["1:37"],"fieldType":"number_integer"},"brightcoveVideo":{"values":[{"account":"1414329538001","player":"4JiZQnWhg","videoId":"2264332596001"}],"fieldType":"text"},"publishDate":{"values":[1363896120],"fieldType":"datetime"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"}}},{"type":"html","value":"

Meanwhile Krait processors, the CPU of the Snapdragon SoC, are designed with aSMP, or asynchronous symmetrical multi-processing. Each CPU core is on an independent voltage plane. This allows each core to adjust its frequency to accomplish a task. While other SoCs force all cores to run at the same max frequency for a single-threaded task, Snapdragon allows that single active core to run at the needed speed while the others remain off or at a lower frequency.

\n"},{"type":"youtube","id":"SMs4_phO1JA"},{"type":"html","value":"

Of course, a phone is not a phone at all without a connection to the outside world, so Snapdragon optimizes its modem for power and thermal efficiency as well. There are high level reasons behind Snapdragon processors modem power efficiency. First, QTI creates and owns all of the key IP blocks of the modem, which allows for optimization at the system level. There are also performance and power improvements from one generation to the next. Second, QTI’s history of modem leadership is evidenced by the multi-generational lead over competition, and each design is more power efficient than the last. 

\n

At the lower level, QTI has been the first to commercialize many features which enable power savings in LTE modems. 

\n

Envelope tracking is one of the more recent QTI innovations in connectivity. This technology applies to the RF (Radio Frequency) amplifier, designed to allow the voltage to adjust to achieve peak power efficiency. The excessive power output (shown in the yellow below) is dissipated as heat. Snapdragon powered devices with this feature will reduce the thermal footprint and RF power consumptions by up to 30%. Snapdragon processors will be coupled with the industry’s first modem-assisted envelope tracking for 3G and 4G LTE devices.

\n


\n

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Connected Mode Discontinuous Reception (CDRX) can turn off the LTE receiver when data is not being actively sent or received. This simple idea can lead to significant system power savings, up to 15% lower power for web browsing and up to 20% for YouTube streaming. (See page 6 of this recent Qualcomm Technologies presentation for more info.)

\n

Not only is the Snapdragon SoC optimized for power consumption, but it also is designed to achieve the highest data rates. Starting with the Snapdragon 800 processor, QTI brought the first LTE-Advanced modem to the world. Coupled with Carrier Aggregation, Snapdragon processors can achieve speeds of up to double the previous generation. This massive speed boost can allow the phone to download your content quicker, preventing the modem from heating up over a longer period of time.

\n

QTI’s power saving features extend beyond silicon and into software. Snapdragon Battery Guru is an app designed to extend your battery life and longevity by automatically adjusting your smartphones settings. Upon installation, there is a brief learning period while the app learns your usage habits. Once it’s ready, it will disable certain features or apps when it knows you’re not using them. For example, it will learn that you are connected to a Wi-Fi signal at home from 6PM to 6AM, but during the workday, you’re only connected via 4G LTE. During the day, it will shut off your Wi-Fi connection so it is not burning unnecessary power searching for a connection. Or similarly, Snapdragon Battery Guru will recognize you do not conduct Skype calls in your sleep, so it will disable the connection to the internet if it is not needed. But if you do want to receive a Skype call at 2 a.m., Snapdragon Battery Guru allows for customization and you can override for each app as you see fit. Snapdragon Battery Guru is available on the Android Google Play store for your Snapdragon powered device.

\n"},{"type":"youtube","id":"wdgN-P0QZSg"},{"type":"html","value":"

Beyond silicon, QTI even addresses thermals at the packaging level. Snapdragon processors are now housed in 4-channel PoP (package-on-package), which lowers the thermal resistance on the package by allowing for more heat transfer back into the circuit board. This technology can help keep the SoC up to 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 F) cooler. Lower temperature not only results in higher performance, but up to 30% lower leakage.

\n

How does this all translate in the real world? Just take a look at the LG G2 smartphone. In a recent review by AnandTech, this flagship handset is topping the charts in CPU and GPU performance. Those high performance scores do not result in high power, as the G2 also took the top spots in their battery life tests. To quote the author, “The LG G2 battery life is shockingly good through our tests, and in subjective use.” In the talk time test, it lasted over 8 hours longer than the 2nd place contender and over 2.5x longer than the new iPhone 5s.

\n


\n

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\n

\n

Not only do Snapdragon processor features allow for longer lasting battery life, but they allow for faster charging. With phones increasing in size, and battery technology improving, phones are slowly cramming more and more watt-hours or battery capacity into your device. The downside of this is that charge times also increase with battery capacity. Qualcomm® QuickCharge 2.0 improves charging by up to 75%. This more than compensates for the larger battery capacities and ensures you spend less time tethered to an outlet and more time on the go. Check out what was said about QuickCharge here.

\n


\n

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\n

\n
 
\n

\n

 

\n

The smartphone continues to evolve, both inside and out. These changes are opening up new worlds of usage models and capabilities that we previously wouldn’t have imagined could be housed in our pocket. With the sizeable list of engineering innovations discussed here, Snapdragon processors have paved the way for this mobile revolution. If you want the best performance and the best battery life, you want a Snapdragon processor at the heart of your device.

\n

Our next post will explore some of the new user experiences enabled by these exciting Snapdragon features and others.

\n"}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"
\"\"
\"\"
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Second blog post on the power and thermal challenges that face modern devices."},"blogMainImage":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/main-image/chart1.jpg?itok=rPiAFvwo","alt":"","title":"","height":135,"width":505},{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/main-image/chart2_0.jpg?itok=20auIzuA","alt":"","title":"","height":149,"width":505},{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/main-image/chart3.jpg?itok=-j2oJWr7","alt":"","title":"","height":120,"width":505}],"fieldType":"image"},"blogAuthor":{"values":["26662"],"fieldType":"node_reference"},"contentTags":{"values":[{"id":"14","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"content_tags","title":"Snapdragon","fields":[],"tTitle":"Snapdragon"},{"id":"65","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"content_tags","title":"LTE","fields":[],"tTitle":"LTE"}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"blogPublishDate":{"values":[1381336080],"fieldType":"datetime"},"technologyTopic":{"values":[{"id":"19487","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"technology_topic","title":"Snapdragon","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"promotion":{"values":[{"id":"19516","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"promotion","title":"none","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"stakeholderAnalytics":{"values":[{"id":"19956","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"stakeholder_analytics","title":"Snapdragon Digital Marketing","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"hideBlog":{"values":[false],"fieldType":"list_boolean"},"publishDate":{"values":[1381336080],"fieldType":"datetime"},"references":{"node":[{"nid":"26662","type":"person","title":"Adam Kerin","created":"1367434144","changed":"1400639438","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":false},"path":"/people/adam-kerin","url":"/people/adam-kerin","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"

Adam is a Senior Marketing Manager on the Snapdragon integrated marketing team. Prior to joining Qualcomm in 2013 Adam spent 7 years with Intel, where he created and managed the SoC power and performance analysis team. Outside of the office, chances are he is crawling through mud or hiking with a bag full of bricks, training for his next extreme endurance event.

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Adam earned his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

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Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries (\"Qualcomm\"). The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

"},"authors":[{"nid":"26662","type":"person","title":"Adam Kerin","created":"1367434144","changed":"1400639438","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":false},"path":"/people/adam-kerin","url":"/people/adam-kerin","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"

Adam is a Senior Marketing Manager on the Snapdragon integrated marketing team. Prior to joining Qualcomm in 2013 Adam spent 7 years with Intel, where he created and managed the SoC power and performance analysis team. Outside of the office, chances are he is crawling through mud or hiking with a bag full of bricks, training for his next extreme endurance event.

\n

Adam earned his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

\n"}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","label":"Short Bio","labelDisplay":"above"},"personHeadshot":{"values":[{"alt":"","images":[{"width":480,"height":480,"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/scale_480/public/person/headshot/small/adam-headshot-1.png?itok=AEa250O7"},{"width":500,"height":500,"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/person/headshot/small/adam-headshot-1.png?itok=PYxLH7QK"}]}],"fieldType":"image","label":"Headshot Thumbnail","labelDisplay":"above"},"personJobTitle":{"values":["Sr Manager, Marketing"],"fieldType":"text","label":"Job title","labelDisplay":"above"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"},"tTitle":"Adam 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(http://drupal.org)"}},{"type":"link","attributes":{"rel":"canonical","href":"https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2013/10/09/thermal-efficiency-snapdragon-processors-under-screen-and-behind-trends"}},{"type":"link","attributes":{"rel":"shortlink","href":"https://www.qualcomm.com/node/28264"}},{"type":"meta","attributes":{"property":"og:site_name","content":"Qualcomm"}},{"type":"meta","attributes":{"property":"og:type","content":"article"}},{"type":"meta","attributes":{"property":"og:url","content":"https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2013/10/09/thermal-efficiency-snapdragon-processors-under-screen-and-behind-trends"}},{"type":"meta","attributes":{"name":"twitter:card","content":"summary"}},{"type":"meta","attributes":{"name":"twitter:url","content":"https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2013/10/09/thermal-efficiency-snapdragon-processors-under-screen-and-behind-trends"}}],"time":150.26,"id":"28264-undefined","componentBundles":{"8dd13727-68a9-4f4c-abd2-69173e35fd9d":{"id":"8dd13727-68a9-4f4c-abd2-69173e35fd9d","entityType":"pod","bundle":"news_media","title":"Related 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Mobile, the largest technology platform in human history, directly impacts the digital economy. As connectivity evolves and we move toward 5G, an already-expansive mobile ecosystem will extend to new industries, enabling new services and powering new devices. This was the crux of EVP of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and President of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Cristiano Amon’s keynote at MWC Americas.

\n

According to an IHS 5G economic impact study conducted earlier this year, 5G could produce up to $12 trillion in goods and services by 2035. This evolution in connectivity builds on and extends the capabilities of LTE, enhancing mobile broadband to support immersive experiences, lowering latency for mission critical services, and connecting the massive influx of IoT devices to come. The evolution culminates with 5G NR, the global standard that will provide a unified connectivity fabric for almost everything.

\n

Here’s more from Amon’s speech:

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The path to 5G starts with Gigabit LTE

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5G is on its way, but as we await its arrival, the next step in connectivity is Gigabit LTE. Gigabit LTE will meet the demands of the growing number of mobile connections (7.7 billion and counting) by providing fiber-optic-like cable download speeds without the cable.

\n

Amon was quick to point out the many benefits of Gigabit LTE. For example, devices equipped with Gigabit LTE can support stronger signals and faster speeds, even in crowded places. We’re talking about improved everyday speeds, not just about peak speeds.

\n

And Gigabit LTE-enabled devices won’t suffer the strain of streaming video. Thanks to Category 16 speeds, videos will consume fewer resources than the same quality videos on phones from just a few years ago. Connected apps will also improve, as users gain quicker access to the cloud. Users will be able to stream 360-degree VR videos, with pixel-perfect quality, and millions of songs, even in areas with weak signals.

\n

Amon explained that by increasing the performance of the network for every device, there’s opportunity for faster growth and new services, which directly benefit the digital economy.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_mwc-cristiano_inlinevisual.png?itok=qAsg4ZUF","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":456},{"type":"html","value":"

Gigabit LTE on the horizon

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Gigabit LTE isn’t a far-off concept. We’re already seeing premium devices with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which is integrated in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, achieve Gigabit speeds. And our second-generation Gigabit LTE modem, the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, can reach Category 18 speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. The audience at MWC Americas got a taste of these lightning-fast speeds when we demonstrated Gigabit LTE using Licensed Assisted Access with our partners AT&T and Ericsson.

\n

This isn’t an isolated event. “Gigabit LTE is understood as the absolute foundation for any operator that is building a 5G network,” Amon said. Already, 38 operators in 23 countries are deploying and trialing Gigabit LTE. These operators serve over 1.2 billion LTE connections, demonstrating just how extensive of a technological foundation Gigabit LTE will be, and how it’ll be a requirement for 5G deployment.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_mwc-cristiano_pullquote3.png?itok=f7fXuF3p","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":443},{"type":"html","value":"

Meeting the soaring demand for data

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Mobile data is predicted to increase 30X between 2014 and 2020, driven by the consumers’ insatiable demand for immediate access to the internet. This growing desire for more bandwidth and faster data speeds will impact mobile networks and require new technologies with access to mmWave and sub-6-GHz spectrum.

\n

We’re already working on a few of these solutions. For instance, we’ve found that operators can use their existing infrastructure to achieve excellent outdoor mmWave coverage. This, in turn, frees up sub-6-GHz spectrum for indoor use. Just this week, we announced a 5G NR mmWave prototype that will accelerate mobile deployment for smartphones. With mmWave and sub-6-GHz technologies, we’ll soon be able to stretch our supply of spectrum to meet the growing demand.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_mwc-cristiano_pullquote2_0.png?itok=MQWJJ1GS","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":375},{"type":"html","value":"

Accelerating the digital economy with 5G NR in 2019

\n

“The potential to build the 5G infrastructure and unleash the potential of enhanced mobile broadband is right in front of us,” stated Amon. We’ll start to see 5G NR deployment in 2019, enabling a unifying fabric for connected devices. To support this timeline, Qualcomm is currently beginning 5G trials with operators and OEMs around the world, which includes our recently announced 5G interoperability and over-the-air field trials with Nokia.

\n

In the meantime, we’ll continue to push LTE forward to ensure that we have a strong foundation for the new services that will accelerate the digital economy once 5G rolls out.

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\"The best years of the mobile industry are yet to come,\" Amon said. \"We're just at the beginning.\"

\n"},{"type":"cta","items":[{"text":"See Cristiano Amon's speech here.","href":"https://www.mobileworldlive.com/latest-stories/mwca17-keynote-qualcomm-technologies/","style":"circle-right","size":"small","outbound":false}]},{"type":"html","value":"

Visit our dedicated Gigabit LTE page and 5G page to learn more about our journey toward the next generation of connectivity.

\n"}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"

At the 2017 MWC Americas, Cristiano Amon shared the different ways Gigabit LTE and 5G will contribute and bolster the digital economy.

\r\n"},"blogTeaserImage":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/teaser/qc_onq_mwc-cristiano_teaser.jpg?itok=FCWcRsSS","alt":"","title":"","height":324,"width":585}],"fieldType":"image"},"blogAuthor":{"values":["The OnQ Team"],"fieldType":"node_reference"},"technologyTopic":{"values":[{"id":"22059","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"technology_topic","title":"5G","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"hideBlog":{"values":[false],"fieldType":"list_boolean"},"publishDate":{"values":[1505951100],"fieldType":"datetime"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"},"section":{"id":0,"machineName":"onq_blog","path":"news/onq","name":"OnQ","colorName":"aqua","title":"Qualcomm OnQ Blog | Official Qualcomm Blog | Qualcomm","description":"Qualcomm is at the forefront of invention, reimagining the future and creating the vital technologies that connect people and the things around them. OnQ Blog keeps you updated on our breakthroughs and gives you our perspective on where technology is headed, the latest product updates, industry news, and more.","metaDescription":"Keep tabs on what's new and exciting in the world of Qualcomm with our official OnQ™ blog, where you'll get our perspective, industry news, product updates and more.","legal":"

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries (\"Qualcomm\"). The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

"}},{"nid":"34251","type":"blog","title":"On-device processing gives your AI applications the edge","created":"1505944801","changed":"1506008078","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":true},"path":"/news/onq/2017/09/19/device-processing-gives-your-ai-applications-edge","url":"/news/onq/2017/09/19/device-processing-gives-your-ai-applications-edge","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"

With the recent launch of the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK, we previously highlighted the importance of on-device processing for time-critical AI applications. For example, the ability for self-driving cars make instant decisions - identifying and avoiding an obstacle in the road as near to the time it was detected, rather than following a trip across the network to a server in the cloud.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/ai-powered-car_sized.jpg?itok=wJR7ORg2","class":"inline","description":"AI powered car detecting an object ahead.","title":"","alt":"AI powered car detecting an object ahead.","width":688,"height":460},{"type":"html","value":"

AI processing at the edge is inherently complex, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform has the power and flexibility to help developers with an advanced, heterogeneous computational architecture, supporting optimized tools, libraries and AI frameworks. With the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK, developers can further tune the performance of AI applications relying on Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow deep learning frameworks, with less effort.

\n

Now we’d like to take this topic one step further by exploring some example AI applications where on-device computation can provide differentiation and critical advantage.

\n

Evolving from Object Recognition to Object Tracking and Predictive Modelling

\n

Modern, cloud-based photo sharing and storage services offer object and facial recognition as a standard feature, allowing you to quickly filter huge image libraries. It’s a remarkable feat requiring significant computing power. Life would be simpler if every photo comprised a single object of interest, but that’s rarely the case. Not only must multiple objects in a photo be identified and labelled, judgement is required to select the most important elements in the image for classification.

\n

Object tracking and the predictive modelling required to support real-time, intelligent decision-making from a range of sensor inputs offers an even greater challenge. Imagine the possibilities:

\n\n

Devices delivering these types of application will require the processing power to detect, understand and react to a host of environments and events with critical pace and precision.

\n

Natural Language Processing, Speech and Speaker Recognition

\n

Advances in speech recognition allow us to control car navigation, in-home entertainment and use voice-activated personal assistants for simple tasks such as information queries, calendar management and device control. Speech recognition accurately identifies words being spoken, but on its own it lacks important context. Recognizing the speaker can significantly improve the utility of personal assistants, particularly in secure applications, while natural language understanding goes beyond speech recognition to support deeper comprehension of what is being communicated.

\n

Enhanced applications could include:

\n\n

These examples demonstrate compelling use cases where on-device AI is advantageous compared to traditional, cloud-based processing. The Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) allows developers to harness deep learning on-device using models trained with TensorFlow or Caffe2, achieving superior performance through the Snapdragon mobile platform heterogeneous computing architecture.

\n

Together, these technologies greatly enhance delivery of today’s AI-driven applications, such as real-time image processing and language translation. They also open the door to innovation, giving developers the time, tools and processing power to realize tomorrow’s intelligent user experiences.

\n

According to IDC, less than 1% of software developers incorporate cognitive capabilities into their applications today. That figure is expected to exceed 50% by 2018. Advanced mobile applications and automated system features, such as voice and speech recognition, object recognition and tracking - that typically require datacenter processing - could be fully supported on-device, with low-latency sensing and inference.

\n

To take your development to the edge, be sure to find out more about our collaborations with Google and Facebook, download the Snapdragon NPE SDK and stay tuned for more discussion on AI development here at QDN.

\n

 

\n"},{"type":"footnote","text":"Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc."},{"type":"html","value":"

 

\n"}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"

With the recent launch of the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK, we previously highlighted the importance of on-device processing for time-critical AI applications.

\r\n"},"blogTeaserImage":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/teaser/ai-powered-car_teaser.jpg?itok=ryujd0kz","alt":"","title":"","height":329,"width":585}],"fieldType":"image"},"blogAuthor":{"values":["Gary Brotman"],"fieldType":"node_reference"},"technologyTopic":{"values":[{"id":"19471","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"technology_topic","title":"none","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"hideBlog":{"values":[false],"fieldType":"list_boolean"},"publishDate":{"values":[1505844900],"fieldType":"datetime"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"},"section":{"id":0,"machineName":"onq_blog","path":"news/onq","name":"OnQ","colorName":"aqua","title":"Qualcomm OnQ Blog | Official Qualcomm Blog | Qualcomm","description":"Qualcomm is at the forefront of invention, reimagining the future and creating the vital technologies that connect people and the things around them. OnQ Blog keeps you updated on our breakthroughs and gives you our perspective on where technology is headed, the latest product updates, industry news, and more.","metaDescription":"Keep tabs on what's new and exciting in the world of Qualcomm with our official OnQ™ blog, where you'll get our perspective, industry news, product updates and more.","legal":"

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries (\"Qualcomm\"). The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

"}},{"nid":"34201","type":"blog","title":"The Gigabit LTE phenomenon, powered by Snapdragon","created":"1505166535","changed":"1505245425","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":true},"path":"/news/onq/2017/09/11/gigabit-lte-phenomenon-powered-snapdragon","url":"/news/onq/2017/09/11/gigabit-lte-phenomenon-powered-snapdragon","headTitle":"[node:title]","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"

MWC Americas is taking place this week in San Francisco, and as the mobile industry comes together to showcase what’s next, one topic in particular features prominently at the show: Gigabit LTE.

\n

Gigabit LTE has become a global wireless phenomenon, and Qualcomm Technologies has been at the forefront of this exciting evolution of LTE technology on the path to 5G.

\n

There are many reasons for Gigabit LTE’s rise to prominence. Apart from the incredible peak speeds that it makes possible, Gigabit LTE increases network capacity and improves download speeds, opens up exciting possibilities for new mobile experiences, and lays a strong foundation on which future 5G NR networks will be built.

\n

It all began with the announcement of the very first commercial Gigabit LTE modem— the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem — in February of 2016. Less than one year later, Qualcomm Technologies, Telstra, NETGEAR and Ericsson together launched the first Gigabit LTE mobile device and network.

\n

Since then, Gigabit LTE momentum has only accelerated. There are now 38 operators serving 1.2B LTE subscriptions in 23 countries deploying or trialing Gigabit LTE, including the four major U.S. operators. Several are using LTE in unlicensed spectrum, an innovation pioneered by Qualcomm Technologies, to achieve Gigabit LTE speeds. LTE in unlicensed technologies makes it possible for a much greater number of operators around the world to offer Gigabit LTE service to their users.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_gb-lte_v3.gif","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":387},{"type":"html","value":"

To illustrate the power of these technologies, we are demonstrating Gigabit LTE using Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology together with AT&T and Ericsson at MWC Americas. The demonstration will use the Samsung Galaxy Note8, one of the latest Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones, to demonstrate breathtaking speeds and new experiences including 3D VR video.

\n

This demonstration with the Galaxy Note8 brings to light another key fact: when it comes to handsets, Gigabit LTE is currently a feature that’s unique to premium Android smartphones. Android OEMs have consistently led the way in bringing the latest LTE technologies to users, and this leadership continues with Gigabit LTE. We are excited that we have empowered leading smartphone makers in the Android ecosystem to bring some of the most advanced wireless technologies, which enhance every connected app and mobile experience, to users around the globe. In total, there are currently 10 smartphones and four mobile broadband devices that are Gigabit LTE capable, all thanks to the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_gb-lte_deviceinline_v3.png?itok=oPpeD480","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":387},{"type":"html","value":"

But we are not resting on our laurels. Instead, we are charging forward with our second generation Gigabit LTE modem — Snapdragon X20, the world’s first announced Cat 18 LTE modem — breaking through the Gigabit barrier and further enhancing network capacity and real user data rates.

\n

Just a few weeks ago, we demonstrated the power of the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem for the very first time with Verizon and Ericsson. And just a few days ahead of MWC Americas, we achieved a new world record —1.175 Gbps —with T-Mobile and Nokia, and are working now with mobile OEMs to commercialize devices powered by the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem in the first half of 2018.

\n

As we continue to push the envelope with 4G technologies in the real world, Qualcomm is laying a strong foundation for its leadership in 5G, forging ahead with new trial systems that will drive ecosystem readiness for 5G NR launches in 2019. Our new mmWave 5G NR prototype system, with an RF front end designed in a smartphone form factor, will be used to show that, despite mmWave’s challenges, Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to overcome them and make the technology viable for mobile devices and network.

\n

Let us take this moment to celebrate the great work that Qualcomm and other technology leaders in the mobile ecosystem have achieved together, to keep it the most vibrant and most dynamic technology platform in history.

\n"},{"type":"footnote","text":"Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc."}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"

MWC Americas is taking place this week , and as the mobile industry comes together to showcase what’s next, one topic features prominently at the show: Gigabit LTE. Qualcomm Technologies has been at the forefront of this exciting evolution of LTE technology on the path to 5G.

\r\n"},"blogTeaserImage":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/teaser/qc_onq_gb-lte_teaser_091217_0.png?itok=LnShz8Ro","alt":"","title":"","height":324,"width":585}],"fieldType":"image"},"blogAuthor":{"values":["Cristiano R. Amon"],"fieldType":"node_reference"},"technologyTopic":{"values":[{"id":"22601","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"technology_topic","title":"Product","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"hideBlog":{"values":[false],"fieldType":"list_boolean"},"publishDate":{"values":[1505166300],"fieldType":"datetime"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"},"section":{"id":0,"machineName":"onq_blog","path":"news/onq","name":"OnQ","colorName":"aqua","title":"Qualcomm OnQ Blog | Official Qualcomm Blog | Qualcomm","description":"Qualcomm is at the forefront of invention, reimagining the future and creating the vital technologies that connect people and the things around them. OnQ Blog keeps you updated on our breakthroughs and gives you our perspective on where technology is headed, the latest product updates, industry news, and more.","metaDescription":"Keep tabs on what's new and exciting in the world of Qualcomm with our official OnQ™ blog, where you'll get our perspective, industry news, product updates and more.","legal":"

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries (\"Qualcomm\"). The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

"}},{"nid":"34200","type":"blog","title":"Innovative Qualcomm platforms power breakthrough IoT devices at IFA","created":"1505163935","changed":"1505164500","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":true},"path":"/news/onq/2017/09/11/innovative-qualcomm-platforms-power-breakthrough-iot-devices-ifa","url":"/news/onq/2017/09/11/innovative-qualcomm-platforms-power-breakthrough-iot-devices-ifa","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"

From new 360-degree cameras to the QLED TVs that will stream their high-resolution footage, IFA 2017 brought more than 1,800 exhibitors to Berlin where they showcased a wide range of products that are changing the way consumers connect and interact with their homes and devices.

\n

Among the standouts were many products by our customers. Here we’re highlighting five IoT devices powered by a variety of robust platforms from Qualcomm Technologies: the QCA9379 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor — each powering exciting new user experiences for consumers.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/raj-talluri-ifa-keynote-5g-iot.jpg?itok=e85KLmuG","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":450},{"type":"html","value":"

Our own Raj Talluri, SVP Product Management for IoT for Qualcomm Technologies, also addressed a crowded IFA+ Summit during his keynote, Accelerating the IoT on the path to 5G, highlighting the exciting future for the IoT. As just one example, he discussed how 360 degree cameras (several launched at the show) are critical to providing content for VR and how Qualcomm Technologies is empowering a comprehensive 360/VR ecosystem. Additionally, he touched on how 5G enhanced mobile broadband with extreme throughput, ultra-low latency and a uniform experience, even at the cell edge, will be critical to the mass adoption of XR technologies.

\n

Here’s a recap of some of the connected devices highlighted at one of the world’s largest consumer electronics trade shows:

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_ifa_qled_inline.png?itok=tFuwtNq9","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":444},{"type":"html","value":"

Smarter streaming

\n

Samsung’s premium line of QLED TVs are getting a boost thanks to the inclusion of QCA9379 home entertainment solutions. The chipset is engineered to provide reliable, lightning-fast connectivity via dual-stream Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for more interactive, media-viewing experiences.

\n

With robust, reliable connectivity, streaming 4K Ultra HD video is faster than ever. The chip features the newest Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard with support for Multi-User MIMO, allowing for faster downloads at a higher capacity than previous generations. The QCA9379 also boasts separate Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi antennas designed for concurrent connectivity, so remotes and gaming accessories can be wirelessly connected via Bluetooth for better gaming with long battery life and optional support for voice. Traditional line-of-sight restraints are eliminated, and support for functions like voice command will allow users to flip through channels with ease.

\n

The new line of Samsung QLED TVs are available today.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_ifa_acer_inline.png?itok=I6MdrHei","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":444},{"type":"html","value":"

Capturing the world around you

\n

Acer Holo360

\n

Acer showed two LTE-connected, 360-degree cameras — one for capturing usual memories and the other customized for your car. At the heart of both the Holo360 Camera and Vision360 Camera is the Qualcomm Connected Camera platform. The cameras are powered by the Snapdragon 625 SoC, which comes with an integrated CPU, Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU, and a Snapdragon X9 LTE modem engineered for instantly sharing or streaming your videos, without having to sync with a smartphone or PC.

\n

The Holo360 includes Panamorph optics, certified by ImmerVision. This allows users to capture high-resolution images (in 6.9K resolution) and videos (in 4K resolution) essentially without distortion. The camera’s 3-inch touchscreen displays these vivid 360-degree videos and photos and users can also re-live their favorite (and not-so-favorite) moments with a VR headset.

\n

For those who like to get wet, there is an optional IP-68-rated waterproof case that works to 1 meter underwater.

\n

The Acer Holo360 is expected to be available in North America in November, and include a water-resistant case. Specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. 

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_ifa_ricoh_inline.png?itok=dEK97gaa","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":444},{"type":"html","value":"

Ricoh Theta V

\n

Ricoh introduced an exciting update of the Ricoh Theta 360-degree camera that is also based on the Snapdragon Connected Camera platform, and includes support for 4K media and high-speed transfer capabilities, thanks to the Snapdragon 625 SoC.

\n

The Ricoh Theta V captures high resolution still images and smooth 360-degree video at 30 frames per second and a resolution of 3840 x 1920 pixels, or 4K. The camera features four microphones to supports 360-degree, spatial audio that’s recorded horizontally and vertically. When matched with the 360-degree video, the omnidirectional audio can reproduce the sights and sounds of its environment, making viewers feel like they were there in person. And by harnessing the power of the Snapdragon 625, the Ricoh Theta V brings an array of unique features, such as fisheye de-warping, 3D audio, and on-device stitching.

\n

The Ricoh Theta V is on sale starting this month in most regions.

\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_onq_ifa_tcl_inline.png?itok=YNizp3WX","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":444},{"type":"html","value":"

Keeping children safe

\n

Powered by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 mobile platform, the TCL Movetime Family Watch MT30 helps parents stay connected with their kids — in more ways than one, providing increased ease of mind.

\n

With the Snapdragon Wear 2100, the smartwatch can take advantage of LTE connectivity to allow kids to call or message their parents by selecting numbers, directly from their watch. The MT30 is engineered to provide accurate tracking locations (both indoors and outdoors) and geo-fencing capabilities through the platform’s integrated GPS. The smartwatch syncs with a dedicated mobile app. and in case of emergencies, an S.O.S. button can be pressed to call for help.

\n

With the MT30 kids can connect with friends via Bluetooth, and create to-do lists and reminders (because it’s never too early to learn time management skills). The smartwatch is also “kid-proof” with an IP-67 rating, so users can take the MT30 for a dip of up to one meter underwater. Watchfaces and wristbands are also swappable, keeping up with any and every trend.

\n

The TCL Movetime Family Watch MT30 is expected to be available worldwide, starting in Europe and LATAM in October.

\n"},{"type":"footnote","text":"Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear, Qualcomm Adreno, and Qualcomm Hexagon are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc."}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"
From new 360-degree cameras to the QLED TVs that will stream their high-resolution footage, IFA 2017 brought more than 1,800 exhibitors to Berlin. Here we’re highlighting five IoT devices powered by a variety of robust platforms from Qualcomm Technologies: the QCA9379 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor — each powering exciting new user experiences for consumers.
\r\n"},"blogTeaserImage":{"values":[{"url":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/teaser/raj-talluri-ifa-keynote-5g-iot-thumbnail.jpg?itok=wpQfpfCH","alt":"","title":"","height":316,"width":585}],"fieldType":"image"},"blogAuthor":{"values":["The OnQ Team"],"fieldType":"node_reference"},"technologyTopic":{"values":[{"id":"22613","entityType":"taxonomy_term","bundle":"technology_topic","title":"IoT","fields":[]}],"fieldType":"taxonomy_term_reference"},"hideBlog":{"values":[false],"fieldType":"list_boolean"},"publishDate":{"values":[1505160000],"fieldType":"datetime"}},"analytics":{"countryCode":"us","languageCode":"en","siteBrand":"qualcomm","siteName":"qualcomm","siteRegion":"north-america","siteTier":"region"},"section":{"id":0,"machineName":"onq_blog","path":"news/onq","name":"OnQ","colorName":"aqua","title":"Qualcomm OnQ Blog | Official Qualcomm Blog | Qualcomm","description":"Qualcomm is at the forefront of invention, reimagining the future and creating the vital technologies that connect people and the things around them. OnQ Blog keeps you updated on our breakthroughs and gives you our perspective on where technology is headed, the latest product updates, industry news, and more.","metaDescription":"Keep tabs on what's new and exciting in the world of Qualcomm with our official OnQ™ blog, where you'll get our perspective, industry news, product updates and more.","legal":"

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries (\"Qualcomm\"). The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

"}},{"nid":"34158","type":"blog","title":"Pumping up network speed and capacity with Gigabit LTE [video]","created":"1504809006","changed":"1505419399","entityType":"node","display":{"shareOverlay":true},"path":"/news/onq/2017/09/07/pumping-network-speed-and-capacity-gigabit-lte","url":"/news/onq/2017/09/07/pumping-network-speed-and-capacity-gigabit-lte","headTitle":"Gigabit LTE pumps up network speed and capacity","fields":{"body":{"values":[{"type":"html","value":"
\n"},{"type":"image","image":"https://www.qualcomm.com/sites/ember/files/styles/optimize/public/blog/managed-images/qc_gigabitlteblog_header_0.png?itok=WftIZF-2","class":"inline","description":"","title":"","alt":"","width":688,"height":444},{"type":"html","value":"
\n

The mobile industry is on the cusp of 5G as technology leaders like Qualcomm are working feverishly to contribute to the standard. On the path to 5G, operators will continue to add more network capacity using newer 4G technologies to address the growing appetite of mobile device users who continually demand faster data speeds. Gigabit LTE makes this possible and serves as the foundation for future 5G networks, using carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, 256-QAM, and the ability to operate over both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. To help explain these concepts, imagine the LTE network as a highway for trucks that carry the data you want to download…

\n

Carrier aggregation widens the highway

\n

\n

Carrier aggregation adds more lanes to the network’s highway by combining multiple carriers — that is, multiple LTE connections—which provides more capacity and enables faster downloads for all users.

\n

4x4 MIMO creates another layer of lanes

\n

\n

\n

4x4 MIMO improves operator spectrum efficiency and boosts the data rate for Gigabit LTE devices. Whereas carrier aggregation widens the network highway, 4x4 MIMO adds up to two more layers of data lanes on top of the existing ones to carry more data on the same amount of spectrum.

\n

256-QAM is a big truck that carries lots of data

\n

\n

\n

The gold standard for data rates was 6 bits per signal but that data transfer volume recently pumped up to 8 bits, delivering 33 percent faster connection speeds for Gigabit LTE devices. Using our highway analogy, 256-QAM allows each truck to carry more data, which means fewer trucks are needed, which relieves congestion on the network highway.

\n

LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum puts the pedal to the metal

\n

\n

\n

Get off the congested network highway and take the side streets with LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum. LTE in Unlicensed boosts network capacity in high traffic areas like stadiums, shopping malls, airports, and more with Gigabit LTE speed for a high quality and robust user experience.

\n

Qualcomm Technologies continues its trailblazing inventions in mobile connectivity, pioneering the world’s first annoucned Gigabit LTE cellular modem with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. Since then, a total of 10 Gigabit LTE-capable devices have been brought to users all over the world with this groundbreaking modem at their heart. We push the technological envelope, continually evolving Gigabit LTE network highways in order to better deliver wide-area coverage, high-speed data rates and low latency in support of countless use cases and upcoming releases.

\n

Learn what Qualcomm Technologies is doing to bring you Gigabit LTE.

\n

 

\n"},{"type":"footnote","text":"Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc."},{"type":"html","value":"

 

\n"}],"fieldType":"text_with_summary","summary":"

Gigabit LTE serves as the foundation for future 5G networks, using carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, 256-QAM, and the ability to operate over both licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

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OnQ

The Thermal Efficiency Behind Smartphone Trends

2013年10月9日

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

In our second blog post on the power and thermal challenges that face modern devices, we will explore the current trends in the industry and the technologies and innovations that make them possible.

Our phones are getting bigger. As the capabilities of smartphones have grown, so have their screens. The increased demand for more visual real-estate on our pocketable devices is a global trend. According to ABI Research, almost 83 million phablets, or phones with a five inch screen or greater, were shipped in 2012.  That is an increase of 4,504% from 2011. The same body of ABI Research also states that shipments of such phones are expected to grow to 273 million in 2017.

Not only are these screens bigger, but they are higher resolution, which means they consume more power and require more processing horsepower. Almost every standard flagship phone today has at least a 1080p screen. Tablet resolutions are even higher, with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors supporting up to 2560x2048. Armed with these larger screens and crisper resolutions, users are able to demand more from their devices. After all, watching HD video or gaming on 6” phablet is a much more immersive experience compared to the 3” pixelated phones of yesteryear.

One might expect that if mobile devices’ horsepower increased to enable these new experiences, the thickness of the device would grow as well to compensate for the added power and heat from these components. In reality, the exact opposite is true. Tablets and smartphones are getting thinner. For example, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra powered by the Snapdragon 800 processor, weighs in with a massive 6.4” display, but launched as the “world’s thinnest HD smartphone,” at only 6.5mm.

To recap: larger screens, higher resolutions, and SoCs with more horsepower, yet devices are getting thinner. How is all of this possible? The answer is great engineering.

 

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Let’s begin with where this thermal and power efficiency is visually demonstrated. The GPU is responsible for pushing millions of pixels to your display and does so up to 60 times each second. During gameplay it is called upon to render 3D worlds in ultra-realistic detail, all while the CPU may calculate the artificial intelligence of the game characters or the physics of the explosion you just caused. All these high performance tasks could make other SoCs burn a lot of power, and generate a great deal of heat. Snapdragon SoCs have a history of being cooler than the competition.

 

Mobile devices have a very different set of thermal constraints. In the archaic PC segment, desktop computers are housed in large enclosures and are cooled by thick metal heat-sinks with a large and often loud fan. In contrast, mobile devices are mere millimeters thin and are expected to be held in your pocket, your hand, or against your cheek. There are certain thermal thresholds that must be met for a handheld to be a viable product. Skin temperature is one of them. If the devices’ thermal threshold is surpassed, the SoC begins to throttle back its frequencies, and thus performance, in an effort to reduce the heat. This can have negative impacts on performance and overall user experience. 

OEMs’ design decisions are able to help mitigate some of this heat. The proximity of high power components and the material used in the phone to dissipate the heat are some of the methods employed. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) actively works with OEMs to address their thermal needs. Before the handset is ever launched, QTI provides a thermal dashboard and model to help OEMs understand how their design decisions will impact performance and temperature. Still, metals, fancy plastics and PCB layout are not the only tools to solve this problem.

Snapdragon processors are designed to enable lower power and thermal envelopes by a suite of features. The Adreno™ GPU is the visual center of Snapdragon, rendering 3D environments and painting pixels to your display. There are two different methods to render 3D images to the screen, deferred and direct rendering. Adreno utilizes both methods and dynamically switches between the two modes depending on which will deliver the best power efficiency. Deferred rendering breaks the scene into smaller tiles and renders them independently. Rendering smaller tiles consumes less memory and allows operations to remain on the GPU memory, and so these operations are not penalized for accessing the larger, longer latency external memory.

Direct or immediate rendering does not buffer any content, but computes the scene as a whole and renders all pixels directly and immediately to the screen. While less efficient for accessing the external memory and potential overdraw, there are still some scenes or even parts of scenes that will benefit from this approach. Because it has the flexibility to decide between the two rendering methods based on the one that delivers the optimal power efficiency, this technology is called FlexRender™.

Meanwhile Krait processors, the CPU of the Snapdragon SoC, are designed with aSMP, or asynchronous symmetrical multi-processing. Each CPU core is on an independent voltage plane. This allows each core to adjust its frequency to accomplish a task. While other SoCs force all cores to run at the same max frequency for a single-threaded task, Snapdragon allows that single active core to run at the needed speed while the others remain off or at a lower frequency.

Of course, a phone is not a phone at all without a connection to the outside world, so Snapdragon optimizes its modem for power and thermal efficiency as well. There are high level reasons behind Snapdragon processors modem power efficiency. First, QTI creates and owns all of the key IP blocks of the modem, which allows for optimization at the system level. There are also performance and power improvements from one generation to the next. Second, QTI’s history of modem leadership is evidenced by the multi-generational lead over competition, and each design is more power efficient than the last. 

At the lower level, QTI has been the first to commercialize many features which enable power savings in LTE modems. 

Envelope tracking is one of the more recent QTI innovations in connectivity. This technology applies to the RF (Radio Frequency) amplifier, designed to allow the voltage to adjust to achieve peak power efficiency. The excessive power output (shown in the yellow below) is dissipated as heat. Snapdragon powered devices with this feature will reduce the thermal footprint and RF power consumptions by up to 30%. Snapdragon processors will be coupled with the industry’s first modem-assisted envelope tracking for 3G and 4G LTE devices.


Connected Mode Discontinuous Reception (CDRX) can turn off the LTE receiver when data is not being actively sent or received. This simple idea can lead to significant system power savings, up to 15% lower power for web browsing and up to 20% for YouTube streaming. (See page 6 of this recent Qualcomm Technologies presentation for more info.)

Not only is the Snapdragon SoC optimized for power consumption, but it also is designed to achieve the highest data rates. Starting with the Snapdragon 800 processor, QTI brought the first LTE-Advanced modem to the world. Coupled with Carrier Aggregation, Snapdragon processors can achieve speeds of up to double the previous generation. This massive speed boost can allow the phone to download your content quicker, preventing the modem from heating up over a longer period of time.

QTI’s power saving features extend beyond silicon and into software. Snapdragon Battery Guru is an app designed to extend your battery life and longevity by automatically adjusting your smartphones settings. Upon installation, there is a brief learning period while the app learns your usage habits. Once it’s ready, it will disable certain features or apps when it knows you’re not using them. For example, it will learn that you are connected to a Wi-Fi signal at home from 6PM to 6AM, but during the workday, you’re only connected via 4G LTE. During the day, it will shut off your Wi-Fi connection so it is not burning unnecessary power searching for a connection. Or similarly, Snapdragon Battery Guru will recognize you do not conduct Skype calls in your sleep, so it will disable the connection to the internet if it is not needed. But if you do want to receive a Skype call at 2 a.m., Snapdragon Battery Guru allows for customization and you can override for each app as you see fit. Snapdragon Battery Guru is available on the Android Google Play store for your Snapdragon powered device.

Beyond silicon, QTI even addresses thermals at the packaging level. Snapdragon processors are now housed in 4-channel PoP (package-on-package), which lowers the thermal resistance on the package by allowing for more heat transfer back into the circuit board. This technology can help keep the SoC up to 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 F) cooler. Lower temperature not only results in higher performance, but up to 30% lower leakage.

How does this all translate in the real world? Just take a look at the LG G2 smartphone. In a recent review by AnandTech, this flagship handset is topping the charts in CPU and GPU performance. Those high performance scores do not result in high power, as the G2 also took the top spots in their battery life tests. To quote the author, “The LG G2 battery life is shockingly good through our tests, and in subjective use.” In the talk time test, it lasted over 8 hours longer than the 2nd place contender and over 2.5x longer than the new iPhone 5s.


Not only do Snapdragon processor features allow for longer lasting battery life, but they allow for faster charging. With phones increasing in size, and battery technology improving, phones are slowly cramming more and more watt-hours or battery capacity into your device. The downside of this is that charge times also increase with battery capacity. Qualcomm® QuickCharge 2.0 improves charging by up to 75%. This more than compensates for the larger battery capacities and ensures you spend less time tethered to an outlet and more time on the go. Check out what was said about QuickCharge here.


 

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The smartphone continues to evolve, both inside and out. These changes are opening up new worlds of usage models and capabilities that we previously wouldn’t have imagined could be housed in our pocket. With the sizeable list of engineering innovations discussed here, Snapdragon processors have paved the way for this mobile revolution. If you want the best performance and the best battery life, you want a Snapdragon processor at the heart of your device.

Our next post will explore some of the new user experiences enabled by these exciting Snapdragon features and others.

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