Snapdragon 855 specs leak out, first 5G system chip may bring computational photography to the Galaxy S10

Snapdragon 855 specs leak out, first 5G system chip will bring computational photography to the S10

  • 7nm TSMC production process
  • 4 x 1.8GHz + 2 x 2.4GHz cores + 1 x 2.8GHz core
  • Adreno 640 graphics subsystem with "Snapdragon Elite Gaming" optimizations
  • AI co-processor and computational photography algorithms
  • 5G X50 modem and/or 4G X24 modem (up to 2Gbps downloads)

Qualcomm's next high-end Snapdragon 855 mobile processor has leaked out hours before the unveiling and is every bit as impressive on paper as we expected given the leaked benchmarks of its testing platform. It will apparently be called 855, after all, not 8150 as it is denoted internally, so there's that in continuity. 

Just as rumored, Snapdragon 855 will be a de facto hepta-core affair but don't let the septic thought that it will be inferior to the typical octa-core flagship chipsets cloud your judgment, as it has an extra Neural Processing Unit tacked on this time, for AI calculation purposes.

The four 1.8 GHz low-key cores will be dealing with mundane tasks, while the three 2.4 GHz ones are for the heavy lifting, and one of those can go as high up as 2.8 GHz - for bragging rights, we suppose.

The new and fast Adreno 640 graphics will be optimized with a feature called "Snapdragon Elite Gaming," and fresh computational photography algorithms are added for system-level processing of the hottest trend in mobile picture-taking.

Most of this stuff is expected for a next-gen mobile system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm's flagship 8-series. Perhaps the most surprising thing, however, is that Snapdragon 855 may be equipped with two modems - the X24 which is Qualcomm's latest for the current 4G LTE network standard, and an X50 that can take advantage of the ongoing 5G rollout. We'd wager to guess that most flagships next year will ship with the "up to 2Gbps" X24 modem, though, as a 5G network won't become ubiquitous for a good while.

Last but not least, the Snapdragon 855 that will be in your American Galaxy S10 versions is built on the TSMC foundry's 7nm process, as expected, meaning that it could end up superior to Samsung's 8nm Exynos 9820 for a change. The US usually gets the slower, more power-hungry mobile processor version, but next year it will be different if some leaked benchmarks are any indication.

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