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Q&A: How can Snapdragon 845 boost your smartphone’s performance? [video]

New architectures energize new experiences related to XR, video capture, AI, and much more

Mar 15, 2018

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

What if your mobile device could open the door to a whole new world of experiences? Imagine capturing video with more than a billion shades of colors, exploring a brave new world of extended reality (XR), be truly intuitive with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) – and with virtually all-day battery life? The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is designed to make this possible, supporting flagship smartphones, XR headsets, mobile PCs, and more.

We sat down with Travis Lanier, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, to crunch the performance numbers of the Snapdragon 845 and learn how its processing speed, computing power, and energy efficiency greatly surpasses previous generations.[api:qcom-image

How can Snapdragon 845 enhance mobile experiences related to gaming, videos, and XR and how is its new Qualcomm Adreno architecture an improvement over the previous generation?

I really want people to understand that Snapdragon 845’s Adreno 630 visual processing system is engineered to support performance gains across the board, compared to previous generations, allowing you to play 3D games at higher frame rates, watch 4K HDR videos, and experience mobile XR like never before. Compared to the previous generation, this new GPU features a 30 percent decrease in power consumption, a 30 percent increase in computing power, and 30 percent faster graphics, along with a 2.5 times greater display throughput. It can also achieve 120 frames per second at 2k x 2k resolutions per eye, further boosting application performance for XR devices.

Snapdragon 845 Performance

May 14, 2018 | 1:14

Qualcomm Technologies has consistently delivered high-resolution video capture and playback for several generations of products, tracing back to the Snapdragon 800 that shipped in 2013. How does Snapdragon 845 take Ultra HD to the next level?

Within the Snapdragon 845, the Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP is a brand new architecture that is designed to support massive performance gains and new features compared to previous generations. We published an interesting blog post on this last month which you can read about in detail here.

Power-hungry applications like mobile XR, 3D gaming, and video recording can rapidly drain batteries. How does Snapdragon 845 overcome this issue?

The team here at Qualcomm Technologies is laser-focused on preserving your battery life. Snapdragon 845 is optimized to support power-efficient, cutting-edge experiences through the use of new architectures. For example, the new Adreno subsystem and Spectra ISP deliver up to 30 percent greater energy savings across key user experiences, like gaming and 4K HDR capture compared to previous generations – without compromising performance. Combining these new architectures together is designed to support virtually all-day battery life without unnecessarily draining battery life for experiences that would normally drain resources like video capture and playback, playing 3D games, and XR. For example, on a full charge, you can playback Ultra HD 4K video for up to four hours and experience VR for up to three hours continuously. The most important takeaway isn’t just battery life savings – it’s the ability to sustain performance throughout that time so that the visual experience doesn’t suffer.

Snapdragon 845 further improves battery performance compared to previous generations by introducing a new system-level cache which reduces memory bandwidth for many functions. This is important because memory accesses are one of the largest users of system power.

Should your battery get depleted, the Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology comes in handy, charging your smartphone up to 50 percent in just 15 minutes1. That’s a 20 percent improvement in charging speed and 30 percent more energy efficiency than previous generations of Quick Charge.

Learn more about Quick Charge

How is the Snapdragon 845’s AI an improvement over previous generations and how does it power new experiences related to camera, XR, and voice?

Get ready for AI to be even more a part of your mobile experience. The Snapdragon 845 third-generation mobile AI platform is transforming your mobile device into your ultimate personal assistant. It’s essentially an AI engine made up of three key architectures optimized for AI, including the new Qualcomm Hexagon 685 Vector Processor, Adreno 630 GPU, and Qualcomm Kryo 385 CPU that are optimized for AI processing. In fact, the combined trio conducts on-device neural networks processing up to three times faster than the previous generation.

This increased capability powers exciting new experiences, helping you to create superior camera bokeh effects or perform enhanced scene and object recognition. With XR, it helps track your movement to help you move naturally in your VR world and allows games to detect your surroundings better. But AI isn’t limited to imaging and VR – it’ll be applied to just about any domain imaginable. For example, AI can be used to learn and understand your voice far better than traditional solutions. This will help your always-on keyword and smart voice assistant commands to be much more accurate.

How is Snapdragon 845 supporting the experiences consumers want such as blazing fast download speeds and superior coverage at venues that draw big crowds such as concerts and sporting events?

These cutting-edge experiences must be built on top of gigabit-class speed. Our Snapdragon X20 LTE modem is engineered to support the necessary speed for those types of applications and many more such as downloading or uploading HD videos in just a few seconds, even if your network is congested. Integrated into the Snapdragon 845 chipset, it’s the world’s first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds, delivering cellular speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which is  20 percent faster than our previous generation, cutting-edge modem. So, you can enjoy the connectivity speed and performance of fiber, but without a wired connection.


1. Based on internal tests charging a 2750mAh fast charge battery and using the maximum power for a thermal limit of 40C for all charging implementations. Charge time based on 0% to 50% utilizing 2017 charging Implementations (September 2016). Certain Snapdragon mobile platforms are designed to allow devices to support 50% battery life with 15 minutes charging. Actual results may vary depending on device design.
Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm Hexagon, Qualcomm Spectra, and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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