Qualcomm will soon be unveiling the latest version of their flagship Snapdragon 8 chipset at the annual Snapdragon Summit. However, the chip specifications have started to leak, including its first appearance on the benchmark site. Here's what is known about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ahead of its launch as reported by Tech Advisor:
Qualcomm has confirmed on its website that they will be holding the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii on November 15-17. This is an annual event that Qualcomm usually uses to reveal the latest generation of Snapdragon flagship class.
That's much earlier than the normal date for the Snapdragon Summit, which tends to take place in early December. This means we may get to see the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones a bit earlier.
The processor's rival is the MediaTek Dimensity 9200, which has been promised to be on mobile before the end of 2022. It is likely that Qualcomm will work hard to achieve the same goal.
There have been no confirmed specifications from Qualcomm regarding how the design of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 compares to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or 8+ Gen 1. However, there have been a few rumors that have leaked it.
Tipster Ice Universe reports that the new processor addresses one of the main issues with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, namely power efficiency. Most of the phones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 are not very impressive with battery life.
This deficiency was slightly improved in Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and it looks like it will be further improved in Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. This is good news in terms of performance and endurance for devices using the new chipset.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has the code name SM8550 (Kailua), and it will use a 4nm process made by TSMC rather than Samsung, and an Adreno 740 GPU. This processor will use four types of cores instead of the three found in Qualcomm chipsets over the past few years. It will consist of one Cortex-X3, two Cortex-A720, two Cortex-A710, and three Cortex-A510.
Cortex-X3 is ARM's newly announced core core, offering a 25% performance boost over its predecessor. Qualcomm didn't announce the Cortex-A720, but it's possible that the Ice Universe tipster is referring to a successor chip to the chip we now know as the Cortex-A715. The tipster also adds several clock speeds: 3.2 GHz for the X3, 2.8 GHz for the A715 and A710, and 2.0 GHz for the A510 chip.
There are two oddities to the configuration. The first involves four performance cores and three efficient cores – the opposite of the usual structure. That more distinctive shape is seen in MediaTek's structure in the Dimensity 9200, which pairs one Cortex X-3 main core with three A715 cores and four A510 cores.
The second oddity is that the A715 is a replacement for the A710, so it's unusual for Qualcomm to consider a design that uses cores from both generations.
This is likely because Qualcomm wants to continue support for 32 bit applications. The X3 and A715 only support 64 bit, but the A710 and A510 include 32 bit support, so using those cores allows the chip to drive some 32 bit applications. It's an interesting move, with ARM and Google keen on manufacturers and developers alike moving to 64 bit, something Apple already implemented on iOS and macOS a few years ago.
The 1+2+2+3 arrangement is new and will probably reduce heat issues while delivering superior performance. Since the SoC is built on the same 4nm process as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, this new approach will hopefully allow the chipset to add improvements in speed and efficiency over the previous generation.
There's one more spec rumor to consider. Digital Chat Station reports that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 may come in two versions, with the second version likely using the same silicon but tuned to a higher clock speed – as fast as 3.4 – 3.5 GHz on the main core, up from the estimated 3 .2 GHz in the standard model.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 benchmark results
The first leaked Geekbench results for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 running on the Galaxy S23. The code name here is ‘Kalama', not ‘Kailua'. The phone has a score of 1,524 on the single-core trial and 4,597 on the multi-core experiment.
Digital Chat Station has also leaked further benchmark results from the graphics test, and claims that in this frame rate test, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 outperforms the recently announced MediaTek Dimensity 9200, and even the A16 Bionic in the latest iPhone 14 Pro. If this performance were present in the real world, it would be a breakthrough for Qualcomm.
Since the chipset itself hasn't been announced yet, there's no official information about which phone model will come with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However, there are a few possible candidates.
Xiaomi has always been a company that likes to lead with the latest processors. The company was one of the first to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in their Xiaomi 12 series, and some rumors seem to suggest that this might repeat itself when the Xiaomi 13 series arrives at the end of the year.
There is also news from Digital Chat Station stating that the next OnePlus flagship phone, possibly the OnePlus 11 Pro, will launch this year and use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside. OnePlus' parent company, OPPO, is also confirmed to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Find X6 Pro flagship phone.
The Samsung Galaxy lineup usually launches in February every year, making it the perfect time to incorporate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 into its flagship phones. We think we'll see the Samsung Galaxy S23 arrive with a new processor from Qualcomm in the United States, although the European version and other markets may use one of Samsung's own chips.