Snapdragon 888 unveiled with massive upgrades to GPU, AI hardware and 5G modem

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New name, new architecture, new modem – Qualcomm lifted the veil off the Snapdragon 888 to offer everyone a peek. The chip has already been shown off behind closed doors to Asus, Black Shark, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE. In other words, flagships are coming, a lot of them.

The new Adreno GPU targets 144fps gaming and supports updateable GPU drivers. This is the “most significant upgrade in Qualcomm Adreno GPU performance,” according to the company. Some details (especially about the CPU) are still kept under wraps, however.

The Spectra ISP is now 35% faster than the previous generation, meaning it can gulp up image data at 2.7 gigapixels per second (that’s roughly 120 photos at 12MP resolution). This will be a boon for computational photography as will the upgraded machine learning hardware.

Qualcomm completely re-engineered the Hexagon processor, which now delivers 26 TOPS. For comparison, the S865 was rated at 15 TOPS while Apple advertises 11 TOPS for the M1.

The 888 also features Qualcomm’s third-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem. It offers sub-6 and mmWave 5G support for “all major bands worldwide”, global multi-SIM, carrier aggregation and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.

For local wireless connectivity the new chipset supports Wi-Fi 6E (ax working in the 6GHz band) as well as Bluetooth 5.2.

Snapdragon 888 unveiled with massive upgrades to GPU, AI hardware and 5G modem

“I’m glad that our new flagship smartphone Mi11 will be the one of the first devices with Snapdragon 888,” says Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi. And as mentioned in the beginning, Xiaomi is not the only company working on an 888-powered phone.

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