What Qualcomm’s 835 Chip Means For You

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip comes with an impressive amount of features. It is due to make it’s debut with the Samsung Galaxy S8.
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Published: Monday, January 30th 2017
General
Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips power some of the best Android smartphones across the globe. In 2017, Qualcomm is introducing the new Snapdragon 835 chip. The chip is designed to support next-generation entertainment experiences and connected cloud services for premium-tier consumer and enterprise devices. This includes smartphones, VR/AR head-mounted displays, IP cameras, tablets, mobile PCs, and other devices running a variety of OS’s including Android and Windows 10.
“Our new flagship Snapdragon processor is designed to meet the demanding requirements of mobile virtual reality and ubiquitous connectivity. This while supporting a variety of thin and light mobile designs,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and president, QCT. “The Snapdragon 835 has an unprecedented level of technology integration. It supports superior battery life, improved multimedia, and exceptional photography with gigabit class speeds for fast, immersive experiences.”

Snapdragon 835 Improvements

The improvements available with the Snapdragon 835 can be summarised in five key areas:

Battery Life

The Snapdragon 835 is 35% smaller in package size and consumes 25% less power compared to our previous generation flagship processor. This equates to longer battery life and thinner designs. The Kryo 280 CPU provides a highly efficient architecture for power. This while the integrated Hexagon 682 DSP adds support for TensorFlow and Halide frameworks. The combination of the CPU, GPU, DSP, and software framework support in the Snapdragon 835 offers a highly-capable heterogeneous compute platform. Additionally, the Snapdragon 835 is equipped with Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4. This allows for up to 20% faster charging and up to 30% higher efficiency than Quick Charge 3.0.

Immersion

The Snapdragon 835 is designed to simultaneously meet the high performance demands, thermal limits, and power efficiency constraints of the next-generation virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) designs. It also supports Daydream, Google’s platform for high-quality, mobile VR. Many improvements were made to enhance visual quality, sound quality, and intuitive interactions. Such improvements include up to a 25% increase in 3-D graphics rendering performance. This along with support of up to 60 times more colors with the Adreno 540 visual processing subsystem. Snapdragon 835 also supports 4K Ultra HD premium (HDR10) video, wide color gamut 10-bit displays, object and scene-based 3D audio, and outstanding VR/AR motion tracking. This includes our own sensor fusion-based six degrees of freedom (6DoF).

Capture

The Snapdragon 835 enhances both still and video capture experience. With smooth optical zoom capabilities, fast auto-focus technologies, and HDR true-to-life colors with perceptual quantization video encoding. At the core of the capture experience is the Qualcomm Spectra 180 camera ISP. Featuring dual 14-bit ISPs that will enable up to 32MP single or dual 16MP cameras. This for the ultimate photography and videography experience.

Connectivity

The Snapdragon 835 comes with an integrated X16 Gigabit-Class LTE modem, with integrated 2x2 802.11ac Wave-2, and 802.11ad Multi-gigabit Wi-Fi. Making it the first commercial processor equipped to deliver Gigabit-Class connectivity, at home and on the go. With several Gigabit LTE networks expected to be rolled out around the globe in 2017 and increasing use of 802.11ad, the Snapdragon 835 is designed to empower a new generation of connected experiences. Specifically in the areas of VR/AR, infinite cloud storage, rich entertainment and instant apps.

Security

The Qualcomm Haven security platform provides support for fingerprint, eye- and face-based biometrics. It also includes hardware-based user authentication, device attestation, and device security. This for use cases such as mobile payments, enterprise access, and users’ personal data.

Pillars Bolstered By Machine Learning

Upgrades to the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine software framework include support for Google’s TensorFlow. This along with enhancements to Hexagon DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtentions (HVX). These include custom neural network-layer support, and power and performance optimizations on Snapdragon heterogeneous cores. OEMs and software developers using machine learning can now enable rich experiences. These include intelligent photography, strong security and privacy protection, smart automobiles and personal assistants, and responsive and true-to-life VR and AR.

Snapdragon 835 Features

  • Kryo 280 CPU with four performance cores running at up to 2.45 GHz and four efficiency cores running up to 1.9GHz.
  • An integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with support for Category 16 LTE download speeds up to one gigabit per-second, and Category 13 LTE upload speeds up to 150 megabits per-second.
  • Integrated 2x2 11ac MU-MIMO with up to 50% reduction in size and up to 60% reduction in Wi-Fi power consumption, compared to the Snapdragon 820.
  • 802.11ad Multi-gigabit Wi-Fi, offering up to 4.6 gigabits per-second peak speed.
  • The world’s first certified Bluetooth 5 commercial technology offering up to two megabits per-second speed and a suite of features that enable many new use cases (Bluetooth, FM radio,Wi-Fi and RF offered through companion WCN3990 solution).
  • Adreno 540 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, full OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan, and DX12.
  • Hexagon 682 DSP with HVX.
  • Qualcomm All-Ways Aware™ technology with support for the Google Awareness API.
  • Dual-channel  LP DDR4x memory at 1866MHz.
  • Qualcomm Location with support for GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, and QZSS systems. These, in combination with LTE/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity, provide “always-on” location and context awareness.
  • Up to 32 MP single and 16 MP dual-camera with Qualcomm Spectra 180 ISP, 2x ISP, 14-bit, hybrid autofocus (laser/contrast/structured light/dual-phase detection AF), Qualcomm® Clear Sight™, optical zoom, hardware accelerated face detection, and HDR video recording.
  • 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30 fps, up to 4K Ultra HD video playback @ 60 fps, support for H.264 (AVC), and H.265 (HEVC).
  • Maximum On-Device and External Display Support including Ultra HD Premium™ ready, 4K @60fps, wide color gamut support, and 10-bit color depth.
  • Quick Charge 4 technology.
  • The Snapdragon security platform including the Qualcomm® SecureMSM™ hardware and software and the Qualcomm Haven security suite.
  • Qualcomm Aqstic™ WCD9341 audio codec combined with Snapdragon 835 supports an audiophile grade DAC with 32-bit/384kHz support with an SNR at 115dB and ultra-low -105dB THD+N and native DSD hi-fi audio playback. Additionally, the Snapdragon 835 supports Qualcomm® aptX™ and aptX HD Bluetooth audio with 2x improved power for wireless connectivity.
  • Manufactured on 10nm FinFET technology.
The Snapdragon 835 is in production now and is expected to be found first in Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone.