Snapdragon 820 official details surface: Qualcomm talks new ISP, promises 40% graphics boost with Adreno 530 GPU


The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is the high-end chip you've been waiting for: after the huge fiasco with the Snapdragon 810 system chip and all the initial overheating issues, Qualcomm has been hard at work on the new Snapdragon 820 and divulges the first details about graphics performance and the new image signal processor (ISP).

Sadly, Qualcomm is still not ready to give out details about the CPU inside the new Snapdragon 820 SoC, but we're looking to hearing more about it in the not so distant future. Keep in mind that the Snapdragon 820 is expected to be the first chip to feature a custom 64-bit core by Qualcomm rather than a pure Cortex A series design, as in the company's current 64-bit lineup.

Adreno 530 GPU


The first figure that you should know about the graphics performance of the Adreno 530 GPU in the Snapdragon 820 is "40% increase". This is the average advantage gained over the Adreno 430 GPU in the Snapdragon 810, when looking at averages of top graphics benchmarks. At the same time this 40% boost in performance comes with a sweet 40% drop in power usage thanks to new power gating that allows the GPU to go faster to idle modes and save energy.

In terms of APIs, the Adreno 530 will support OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack. On some platforms, support for the newer OpenGL ES 3.2 is also expected, and - naturally - you have backwards compatibility with OpenGL 2.0 and Renderscript for GPGPU processing advantages. Video processing as one particularly compute intensive implementation will get a huge boost in performance.

Speaking of video, it's worth noting that the new chip will be able to output to 4K monitors with a 60 frames per second speeds (via HDMI 2.0 support and a wire), and it will also be able to wirelessly stream 4K at 30fps.

New Spectra image signal processor


The new Spectra ISP coming with the Snapdragon 820 allows for better image quality. That's a pretty vague statement, though, so that's why Qualcomm is illustrating this with a very particular image showing how the new ISP is able to capture and squeeze out more dynamics from a scene. The ISP can now handle multi-camera setups with up to three sensors working simultaneously, and the maximum supported resolution is 25 megapixels with video recorded at 30fps at max resolution.

The more detail-oriented photography enthusiasts should be happy to see enhanced de-mosaicing on the Spectra ISP, as well as improved hybrid auto-focus framework, more natural skin tones, and more.

In conclusion, we should clarify that the Snapdragon 820 is expected to be built on TSMC's new 16nm FinFET process and ship on actual devices in the beginning of 2016. By then, we'd already seen what the new Apple A9 and new Exynos 7 series chips look like.

source: Qualcomm

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60 Comments

1. Jobayer

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

After using the zenfone 2 with Intel processor , the OS runs so smooth , with Intel x3 coming soon . I don't think I will be getting the 820.

14. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Are they comparing the 820 to a throttled 810?

18. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Hope they keep their promises this time. Waiting for Mi 5 with SD820...

31. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

By using the word Kryo (Greek for cold) Qualcomm promises lower temperatures this time

27. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

What would you like them to compare to? 801? 805? The comment you replied to was talking about intel chips. I think the comparison with the SD 810 is exactly what they should do since people are concerned about the issues with the previous chip.

58. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

No sh!t Niva

35. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nope they compare using testing device made for the soc.

55. Shocky unregistered

It was a joke idiot. But seriously, unless you work for qualcomm how can you really answer that question?

45. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

The throttled 810 doesn't have much throttled gpu (as you could see on benchmarks)

17. TheBiz

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 13, 2015

well how abt camera and battery life i'm planning to buy one

21. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

battery life isnt that great (still survive till night, but may not survive on heavy usage) even without OIS, his camera still great for its price range

22. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The Z3560 and Z3580 are high end chips , the x3 (SoFIA) will be low-mid range.. SoFIA MID will be the next high end chips from Intel for phone, but its only coming by late Q1 or Q2 2016 .

40. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Well that's the the time 820 may come on actual phones. And also is new Intel socs going to be with 14nm manufacturing?

2. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

"TSMC's new 14nm process" I think it should be: Samsung's 14nm process or TSMC's new 16nm process

4. TheGunnyPT

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

Yup, TSMC is still on 16nm.

12. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

TSMC's 16nm process is equal to Samsung's 14nm.

15. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Apple doesn't seem to think TSMC's process 16nm is equal

26. Iodine

Posts: 1474; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

How do you know that ? Did Apple released an official statement that "We don't think those two somiconductor manufacteuring nodes aren't equal." ?

49. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yes, yes they did. They have shifted the majority of the chip production to Samsung/GloFo while TSMC is likely expected to make the iPad chips. The iPad has better thermals so a 16nm chip will suffice but the iPhones will need to be top of the line.

30. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

In the same way that one dime is equal to one dollar.

3. Shubham412302

Posts: 568; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

i love adreno gpus but the most of my friends(even my old device) devices with snapdragon processors heats up quite easily whereas my device is always cool is same conditions and usage

5. TheGunnyPT

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

Yeah pretty much, wanna talk about my Note 4? Playing San Andreas it heats up so much. That's one of the things I like when I spent my time with the S6.. The Exynos didn't heat up (maybe I was lucky?)

10. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

actually, if you read any of the recent posts, the s6s' hottest point is hotter than any other flagship released in 2015... so... sure. i guess the exynos just runs refrigerator cold all the time... except in benchmarks.

36. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

You where playing high end 3d game after like 30 min its start to be pretty hot to the touch. Still the trottle and overheat warning was put at much higher temp so its artificially make you feel like your phone dont overheat. Problem is as with many Samsung device... after 1 year or 1 year and half they start to die and have strange bug.. this is why!

41. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

What's the point of this overheating i can make any phone overheat by just putting it outside of my house so really what's the point? And about that bug well it's exactly why i hate Samsung the phone starts to die after the new series come out hmm strange.

52. Shocky unregistered

My i8910 is still going strong. Google it.

51. Shocky unregistered

How do you sleep at night? Constant lies and BS. What do you get out this? WTF is wrong with you?

7. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Your comment would have made more sense if you had stated what you are using as your current device before making the comparison

23. Shubham412302

Posts: 568; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Its honor 6

6. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Next year would be pretty intresting, Qualcomm's custom cores, A72, Adreno 530, T860 and T880, USB type C and more devices with DDR4 RAM (one with SD810 don't count, that leaves S6 (and note 5) only).

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