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Snapdragon-Chip-with-logoMobile phones and tablets get better, faster, more powerful, and more user-friendly every year. Such is the march of progress. With the upcoming Snapdragon 820 processor, this trends seems poised to continue. Set to be one of, if not the best quad-core processor on the market, the Snapdragon 820 will be found in a wide range of next-generation smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7. What new features can customers expect? As tends to be the case, the new Snapdragon 820 promises to do everything that people know and love – just better. But it might just have a few surprises up its sleeve, as well.

Snapdragon 820 Specs and Features

The Snapdragon 820 improves on every aspect of the outgoing 810, and provides significant improvements over older, legacy chipsets, like the Snapdragon 801 and 805. One such area in which the new 820 shows improvement is in energy efficiency. Compared to the 810, the new 820 chip consumes 30 percent less power, resulting in longer battery life and greater usability. When compared to older chips, such as the 801, power savings of up to 40 percent can be found. In a world that is becoming increasingly mobile, such energy efficiency provides obvious benefits.


As for the central processor unit (CPU) and graphics processor unit (GPU), those see improvements as well. The quad-core CPU is now made up of two high-performance cores (clocked at 2150 MHz) and two low-performance cores (clocked at 1593MHz). This new quad-core processor is called Kryo, indicating a new path forward for Qualcomm’s chipsets. The GPU is the same Adreno unit as before, but it now runs at 624MHz, as opposed to 600MHz for the older Adreno 430 and 330. Additionally, this new, next-generation Adreno 530 GPU includes a host of improved functionalities, including shared virtual memory with the CPU. Compared to the older 400-series of Adreno GPUs, the new 530 is up to 150 percent faster at video processing.


From a pure numbers’ perspective, the new 820 is better in every way. But the improvements go beyond the numbers. It’s fair to say that the new Snapdragon 820 has been designed around an entirely new philosophy – one that is holistic in its approach.

The Promise of the 820 Quad-core Processor

As Qualcomm’s first custom-designed 64-bit CPU, the Snapdragon 820 represents a new milestone for the company. Stated plainly, it is intended to offer much more than simple performance improvements. The goal of the new processor is to enable an innovative, robust, and comprehensive user experience by leveraging heterogeneous computing. This concept calls for the combined abilities of each processor – including the CPU, GPU, DSP, and ISP – to maximize performance, reduce power usage, and provide for more engaging and thorough functionalities.


New features and functionalities that could be made possible through this computing concept include computer vision, advanced imaging, and virtual reality, among other applications. So while it’s true that the Snapdragon 820 does everything previous Snapdragon chipsets did, simply better, it’s not quite accurate to say that’s all it does. It truly is a next-generation mobile processor.


As mobile devices continue to usurp their desktop counterparts, mobile processors are being tasked with doing more and more. The Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor has been designed to provide PC-like functionality and processing power in a mobile-sized chipset. These new capabilities are set to transform the mobile device marketplace in 2016 and beyond. With the Snapdragon 820, smartphones, tablets, and phablets will be faster and more powerful than ever before. If you haven’t yet replaced your desktop PC with a tablet, you just might in 2016.

The Future of Mobile is Bright

Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 820 takes the lessons learned from the 810 and improves upon them in every way. When launched in 2016, it is set to be the best quad-core processor on the market. Where do smartphones and tablets go from here? Impossible to say, but as the old adage states, “the sky’s the limit.”

Author: Jessica Oaks