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Live from New York, it’s Snapdragon 820: Prepare for an immersive dive into mobile experience

Nov 10, 2015

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

Meet Snapdragon 820

Nov 10, 2015 | 1:02

At a Chelsea loft in New York City today, Qualcomm Technologies is showing off its new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor for the first time—and demonstrating how this new flagship mobile chip is engineered to create immersive experiences for your next new smartphone. The Snapdragon 820 has been holistically designed around enriching visual quality and audio clarity, as well as developing more intuitive ways to interact with devices, to generate deeply immersive experiences. In the process, Qualcomm Technologies also infused the Snapdragon 820 with ultra-fast performance, leading connectivity, strong security, and long battery life.

We'll illustrate this immersion and intelligence with a handful of demos:

Visual processing: a Paris apartment rendering 

This demo showcases the ability of the Snapdragon 820 to generate photorealistic video graphics when processing detailed imaging files using both the Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU and the Qualcomm Kryo CPU. When combined, these two processors are designed to create amazingly realistic images that challenge people’s ability to tell the difference between a photo and a rendered image. This also features the latest version of Unreal Engine (UE4) from Epic. This photorealistic application creates an immersive and realistic environment by implementing:

  • Screen space reflections (selectable)
  • Dynamic reflections that move relative to view angle
  • High Dynamic Range Rendering (HDRR)
  • Preservation of  details that might be otherwise lost in normal rendering due to lower contrast
  • Realistic color and lighting
  • Simulation of the light adaptation of the eye
  • Temporal anti-aliasing

Intuitive experiences: Snapdragon Scene Detect

This demo showcases Qualcomm Technologies’ deep-learning-based Zeroth neural processing platform, taking advantage of the heterogeneous cores processing on the Snapdragon 820. Qualcomm Snapdragon Scene Detect is designed to automatically and quickly (within fractions of a second) analyze and classify recognizable image types and categories (mountains or people, for example).

Images are then organized into these categories in the photo gallery. You can also create your own image categories, instead of relying solely on those that come preloaded. In addition to creating their own categories, you can “train” the phone by adding new images or removing those that don’t match the desired results. The deep learning technology in Snapdragon Scene Detect is made to learn on the job to give users a better experience and more control over their on-device photo collections.

Image quality: Snapdragon Low Light Vision (LLV)

This technology is designed to deliver the next level of image quality and performance with two major benefits: adaptive brightness and noise reduction. LLV can also compensate for HDR (high dynamic range) scene and motion artifacts that are usually caused by camera movement or movement in the scene, so snapshots in lower-light conditions will look super clear without the visual noise typically seen in photos taken on mobile phones.

To help some of these advanced algorithms run even faster and at lower power, our Qualcomm Spectra ISP taps into the low-power, yet high-performance, processing capabilities that the Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with the Hexagon Vector eXtension is designed for.

Immersive Audio

An often-overlooked area of smartphone technology is audio. The Immersive Audio demo shows there’s no need for headphones, a receiver, or external speakers to receive surround sound from your mobile device. With the help of two front-facing speakers, Immersive Audio is engineered to produce a center of sound that’s faithfully sharp and immersive, unmatched on other audio platforms. Your music can now sound like it’s flowing from multi-channel headphones, using nothing more than the device in your hand.

Other demos feature MU-MIMO, 802.11ad, and LTE CAT 12/13; Wi-Fi calling; Wi-Power; Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0; and antenna tuner.

More about the Snapdragon 820

The Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip (SoC) represents a rare event in the engineering and design of semiconductors. Every major IP block in the system is a newly optimized custom design. The opportunity to take a fresh look at a processor to this magnitude is infrequent, as each IP block typically has its own update schedule.

But in the case of the Snapdragon 820, every major component of the system has been significantly improved in terms of performance and power consumption to help deliver the kinds of always-on, performance-demanding experiences that users want.

The Snapdragon 820 will be manufactured on 14nm FinFET technology and includes:

All of these engineering enhancements support the immersion and intelligence that will enable completely new and intuitive experiences in your smartphone.  For those who think smartphone innovation has peaked, keep an eye out for new smartphones powered by Snapdragon 820 next year.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm Spectra, Qualcomm Hexagon, Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm Zeroth, Qualcomm Snapdragon Scene Detect, Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart Protect, and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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

Tim McDonough

Senior Vice President, Marketing

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