Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC goes official: New chip to power 2020 flagship phones
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor offers 5G support when coupled with a separate 5G modem
Qualcomm is getting 5G ready with a brand new flagship chipset, Snapdragon 865. The latest processor is set to power the next-generation flagship phones such as Samsung Galaxy S11, Google Pixel 5 and more. Already, Oppo, Xiaomi and Realme have confirmed plans to launch Snapdragon 865-powered phones in the first quarter of 2020. Qualcomm also introduced mid-range 765/765G processors.
5G in focus
With Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm is looking to tap the imminent shift to 5G network in crucial markets such as the US, China, and Europe. Interestingly enough, Qualcomm's newer chip will need a separate modem to enable 5G - similar to the X55 modem package it introduced with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.
Snapdragon 865 is going to use a second-generation X55 5G modem which will be a package deal for 5G devices. Smartphone OEMs may have to factor in space and power requirements for an additional modem.
For connectivity, Snapdragon 865 comes with 7.5 Gbps downloads, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, Fast-Connect 6800 with WiFi 6, 144Hz display support, 25% faster graphics rendering support, etc. There is also a Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming Experience.
Compared to the last generation 855, Snapdragon 865 is expected to be 20% faster in CPU performance and 17 to 20% faster in GPU performance. While this is a marked improvement, the 865 could end up being closer in performance to the 855 Plus that Qualcomm launched as a 'gaming-oriented chipset'.
The Snapdragon 765/765G will come with integrated 5G support, however, it will be less powerful than the 865. We can expect to see the 765 making its way into mid-range 5G phones instead of high-end ones. Qualcomm has said that the 765/765G comes with AI processing capabilities and select Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming experiences.
The X55 modem supports SA/NSA networks, mmWave and Sub-6 GHz 5G networks with better bandwidth on Sub-6GHz. It also has a higher theoretical down/up speeds.
Qualcomm also introduced two mobile platform-based modules - the Snapdragon 865 and 765 Modular platforms that contain tools needed to 'scale 5G with ease'. These platforms are going to offer lower development costs and new industrial designs for mobile and IoT devices. With carriers like Verizon and Vodafone already announcing support for the certification programme, more carriers should come on board next year.
New ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
Qualcomm also introduced 3D Sonic Max, an improved version of the company's ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. The new 3D Sonic Max offers a recognition area that is 17 times larger than what its older iteration offered - this means increased security via two-finger authentication, increased speed and ease of use.
Current 3D Sonic Sensor is used on phones such as Galaxy S10 but has been criticised for being slower, hard to trigger and not precise. The new 3D Sonic Max should bring the much-needed improvement on that front and one can expect to see it being used in the S11, as and when it launches.
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