Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 rumored to have overheating issues

Earlier this month, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and pretty soon after that the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 benchmarks appeared online. The new chip appears to be more than 10% faster compared to the current Snapdragon 888 in single and multi-core performance, and although these numbers are not quite the 20% leap promised by Qualcomm, they’re impressive nonetheless.

Unfortunately, there’s a cryptic tweet by famous tipster @IceUniverse, suggesting that the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset has some overheating issues. “On moto phones, the extreme test of the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is very hot. Please be mentally prepared, 2022 may be a “HOOOT” year for Android phones,” reads the tweet in question.

The Motorola connection here is probably the Moto Edge X30 - the phone was the first officially unveiled device with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset on board. Motorola undercut other brands such as ZTE and Xiaomi (the latter boasted on Twitter that its Xiaomi 12 model will be the world’s first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-equipped phone) but the latest info from IceUniverse raises concerns about the thermal throttling issues the new chipset might have.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 specs and performance

The latest and greatest silicon from Qualcomm is built in Samsung’s foundries using a 4nm manufacturing process. Here are all the features at a glance:

  • Up to 3GHz Kryo CPU with Cortex-X2 cores.
  • 30% faster Adreno GPU with 25% lower power consumption.
  • The world’s first X65 5G modem to reach 10 Gigabit download speeds.
  • First 18-bit image signal processor for mobile.
  • First 8K HDR10+ video capture for mobile.
  • Mega low-light capture snaps 30 images and merges the best parts into one shot.
  • Always-On ISP for fast face unlocking and locking.
  • 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine for voice analysis and Leica Leitz Look bokeh filters.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy audio features like broadcasting, stereo recording, and voice back-channel for gaming.
  • First platform with Android Ready Secure Element support, the new standard for digital car keys or drivers’ licenses.

And here’s a little table comparing the leaked benchmark results of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with its predecessor, as well as some Apple silicon. As you can see, despite all the efforts, the Gen 1 is still behind Apple’s A15 Bionic, at least for now. Actually, the A14 also comes on top of Qualcomm’s latest flagship but that’s to be expected, given the large cores and huge amount of L-cache inside Apple’s Bionic architecture.


Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 potential overheating issues

One might think that Motorola rushed the Moto Edge X30 to get the “first” moniker on its PR materials but the tweet explicitly says that we should be mentally prepared for hot Android phones all across the board.

If we take a look at the Snapdragon 888 and its overclocked version - the 888+, it’s plain to see that these chips already run quite hot. The Gen 1 SoC is manufactured on a 4nm node, which means that everything has shrunk a tiny bit. Which in turn doesn’t help with cooling.

Thermal throttling has been a recurring issue in mobile phones, mainly because companies are trying to keep their models as sleek as possible, while cramming the latest processors inside. Every new generation is faster than the previous one, and no matter the improved efficiency, when put through their paces, the large, heavy-lifting ARM cores are starting to radiate a lot of heat.

It’s still early days but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 might prove to be even more “hot” than the headlines deem it to be, and quite literally.

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