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Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 levels up mobile gaming

Dec 2, 2020

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


A new era for mobile

Let’s dive deeper into the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform.

Explore our most advanced platform ever.

Qualcomm has been a leader in mobile gaming technologies for over 20 years, and we’re proud to announce the next leap in gaming innovation for Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming.

Dozens of mobile-first features from Snapdragon Elite Gaming have helped bring all the top AAA games to the hands of mobile gamers around the world. We’ve delivered ultra-smooth gaming with the highest frame rates achieving 144 fps. We’ve set a new bar in offering the highest HDR quality with features like True 10-bit HDR, and we were the first to bring desktop-level features like per-game updateable GPU drivers to mobile platforms. Developers and gamers alike get the best possible mobile gaming performance from the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.

Around the world there are an estimated 2.6 billion mobile gamers1, with more people today playing more often than ever. It’s estimated that gamers are playing 25 percent more games than a year ago on mobile devices2, which outperforms every other platform – and that figure will continue to grow with new premium devices, new blockbuster games, and new experiences powered by Snapdragon 5G.

Building off our incredible Snapdragon Elite Gaming experiences, I want to share how we’re improving the next generation of mobile gaming and creating new experiences with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform.

Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU

The Adreno 660 GPU is at the heart of our gaming experience, and this year we achieved our biggest leap in graphics rendering speeds while focusing on sustaining that performance over long periods of time. Adreno 660 GPU provides 35 percent faster graphics rendering, while being 20 percent more power efficient when compared to its predecessor. This boost in graphics processing power enables the most advanced HDR features for mobile gaming and easily powers framerates up to 144 fps.

Qualcomm Game Quick Touch

Our work with esports organizations has allowed us to see first-hand the crucial importance of touch response times. Just a fraction of a second can be the difference between first and last place. Pro gamers want ultra-smooth gameplay and hardware that reacts instantly to their physical touch.

Snapdragon 888 introduces Qualcomm Game Quick Touch, a new feature that greatly reduces touch latency. Touch latency depends on many factors like the timing of a game’s display vsync and its frame submission. Due to heavy game workloads, a game may miss the vsync deadline, resulting in a delayed frame. This delayed frame then impacts the latency of the touch event. Qualcomm Game Quick Touch is optimized at the millisecond level to avoid these delays, which will allow a gamer to immediately experience faster response times.

Our lab testing shows that Qualcomm Game Quick Touch can decrease the touch latency by up to 20 percent. Even a game running at a blistering 120 fps will see an improvement in touch response times, and Qualcomm Game Quick Touch will be automatically enabled to work with any game, providing a pro gamer-level experience and improvements to all games in their library.

Variable Rate Shading (VRS)

We’re also excited to announce that Snapdragon Elite Gaming is bringing Variable Rate Shading (VRS) to mobile devices for the first time. Until now, VRS has only been available on PCs and next-gen consoles.

Powered by the new Adreno 660 GPU, VRS helps reduce GPU workloads and provides significant enhancements to games. This allows the next generation of mobile games to run faster and at higher resolutions while still maintaining the highest visual fidelity.

When rendering a frame, the GPU executes a shader program on each pixel in order to compute its color. In a typical example in AAA games today, there are 3.6 million pixels being shaded on the display. VRS allows developers to specify that the shader program only run once in groups of two or four pixels. It then reuses those color results for the surrounding pixels. VRS means that a developer can shade the entire frame using only 1.4 million pixels. This results in 40 percent more efficiency, while greatly diminishing the GPU workload providing for greater power savings.

While the GPU workload is reduced via VRS, the graphical fidelity remains constant. Games will see a 30 percent increase in gameplay performance from previous Snapdragon chipsets while running smoother and longer with lower power. The end result is that developers will have more headroom to take advantage of the hardware and can create larger and more unique experiences in the next generation of mobile games.

Our missions for Snapdragon Elite Gaming is to transform mobile devices into powerful gaming machines. In addition to the 10+ features in our Snapdragon Elite Gaming arsenal, we’re welcoming additional ones like Qualcomm Game Quick Touch and Variable Rate Shading, continuing to push mobile gaming innovations even further. Snapdragon 888 is enabling rich, new experiences and taking gaming to a whole new level. We can’t wait to see what mobile gaming looks like next year.


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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"). 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.

Dave Durnil

Sr. Director, Head of Gaming