Snapdragon 835: more details emerge ahead of CES [Update]

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Update: Yep, Qualcomm has officially revealed more Snapdragon 835 details, confirming an octacore design (four Kryo cores at 2.8Ghz and four presumably A53 cores), support for 4K HDR content and Windows 10 with legacy Win32 apps.

Original article: Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 835 processor, set to power many smartphones this year. The company didn’t reveal a lot of details (pretty much just the smaller 10nm process and Quick Charge 4.0), but now a purportedly leaked press release has shed more light.

The press release, shared by serial leaker Evan Blass, claims that the new chip uses 40% less power than the Snapdragon 820 and a 27% performance boost.

The company also listed five key areas of improvement, in the form of battery life, AR/VR, camera capture, connectivity, security and machine learning.

Battery and AR/VR

Qualcomm is claiming energy improvements of “1+ day of talk time, 5+ days of music playback, and 7+ hours of 4K video streaming”. But of course, this will vary depending on the smartphone and battery size. The firm is also packing Quick Charge 4.0 tech into the Snapdragon 835, promising up to five hours of life from five minutes of charging (using a 2750mAh battery, though).

What about augmented/virtual reality applications, then? Well, the company is touting improvements here as well.

“Designed to meet VR processing demands within strict thermal and power constraints, Snapdragon 835 offers 25 percent faster 3D graphic rendering and 60X more display colours when compared to Snapdragon 820.”

A focus (heh) on photography

In the camera department, the chip designer says the new silicon delivers zoom and stabilisation improvements.

“We’ve improved zoom and stabilization for photos and videos by developing highly optimised software algorithms that intelligently toggle between processing sub-systems…” it elaborated, adding that its latest software stabilisation worked with 4K video as well.

The camera suite also sees autofocus improvements, but one of the more intriguing features is support for combining images that result in “improved sharpness, noise reduction, and dynamic range”.

The Snapdragon 835 doesn’t seem to be a massive horsepower improvement, but battery life could be a step up

Qualcomm has stepped up its security in a big way too, beefing up its Haven platform.

“Snapdragon 835’s Qualcomm Haven Security Platform provides three layers of security on SoC, device, and system levels. Haven uses pins and fingerprints to authenticate the user interface and eye- and face-based security to authenticate the camera. At the same time, Haven runs device attestation on the software, apps and OS, and hardware.”

And if you thought that system-level machine learning was the sole domain of Huawei’s Mate 9, well, Qualcomm is also doing some machine learning. It’s not quite as crazy as Huawei’s touted implementation (claiming to optimise your phone to prevent slowdown over time), but it’s noteworthy anyway.

“Real-world use cases include object recognition for better photos, real-time hand-tracking for immersive VR, voice recognition for a low-power virtual assistant, and biometric authentication that knows and protects users. These applications make our devices smarter, more dynamic, and more useful,” it explained.



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