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Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Features you need to know

If there’s one major thing you need to know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, it promises a better gaming experience. Qualcomm and OPPO partner to bring advancements to mobile ray tracing technology.

OPPO took the stage at the Snapdragon Summit 2022 to discuss ray tracing graphics for mobile devices. The smartphone maker promises to power its upcoming OPPO Find X flagship with this chipset. The brands promise a “fully optimized hardware-based ray tracing feature” to support flagship devices running on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

What does that mean for you mobile gamers? Ziad Asghar, vice president of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said in a press release: “The collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and OPPO in this area allows game developers to take full advantage of desktop-level quality ray tracing to provide the highest visual fidelity, life-like aliasing free shadows, reflections on curved surfaces and global illumination to unlock next-level gaming experience on mobile, all in real-time at usable frame rate.”

But that isn’t all you can expect from the new Qualcomm mobile processor. Let’s check out the new features you can look forward to with this new chipset.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the future of mobile gaming

You can expect to run top mobile games on the next OPPO flagship and other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices at a steady 60 frames per second. It also promises “life-like soft shadows and reflections for the highest gaming visual quality.” And compared with the previous software-only generation, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip’s ray tracing render efficiency increased by a factor of 5 and reduced the CPU workload by 90%.

This advancement allows the mobile game industry to stop relying on software simulation to achieve ray-tracing effects. It gives developers the option to bring “advanced, ultra-realistic lighting to complex, large-scale game scenes on mobile devices.

The future of AI

On top of developing game technology, OPPO, Qualcomm, and Google have also collaborated to improve the AI capabilities of mobile devices. The companies implemented the Google Vertex AI Neural Architecture Search (Google NAS) on a smartphone for the first time.

This new solution will improve the energy efficiency and latency of AI processing on mobile devices.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and computational photography

Another area Qualcomm improved with this new generation chipset is its computation photography capabilities. We briefly touched on AI in the previous section, but we have to mention it in the context of photography this time. 

The company claims the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has its most advanced AI engine thanks to an upgraded Hexagon Processor. It’s also the first Qualcomm mobile chip to support INT4. This AI precision format paired with the new engine guarantees a performance boost and sustained AI inferencing, making it easier to respond to your needs in real-time. 

(Left) Original photo, (Right) Brilliant shades and colors shine through when using Real-time semantic segmentation to capture photos (Source: Qualcomm)

This new processor can enhance photos and videos in real-time with the help of what Qualcomm calls semantic segmentation. An AI neural network can make the camera contextually aware of faces, hair, clothes, and other factors in your frame and optimize these individually so each detail receives customized professional image tuning. Not only do you get better images, but you also get to see the change happen in real time.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will also support new image sensors, like Samsung’s ISOCELL HP3 and its gigantic 200-megapixel sensor. Qualcomm’s new chip will also be the first in its arsenal to support the AV1 codec, allowing playback of up to 8K HDR at 60 frames per second.

Introducing Dynamic Spatial Audio

An immersive audio experience is coming to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. If you’ve used Samsung’s or Apple’s high-end wireless earbuds, you’ll be familiar with this feature. It makes the audio move with you as you move your head. It will need supported headphones. But if you have those, it’ll make listening to music, watching content, or playing games a more immersive experience.

Improved networking & a few of the basics

As for the more practical features, you can expect improved connectivity with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 packing in a new 5G modem with Dual-SIM Dual-Active tech support. This new modem is expected to get the most out of 5G networks. And with dual SIM support, you can use two SIM cards running on different 5G networks simultaneously.

On the Wi-Fi front, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the first system on chip to support Wi-Fi 7. While we’re still in the early days of Wi-Fi 6E, this upgrade futureproofs the devices carrying this processor.

Now, if you’re interested in the technical specs, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s Kryo CPU comes with one prime core based on Arm Cortex-X3 at 3.2GHz, four performance cores (one more than the previous generation) at 2.8GHz, and three efficiency cores at 2.0GHz. Qualcomm says the CPU is 35 percent faster than the previous generation, with 40 percent power savings. Its Adreno GPU is up to 25 percent faster with 45 percent better power efficiency. And like the Gen 1 chip, it is built on a 4nm process. 

What new Qualcomm mobile tech are you excited about? Share your thoughts with us on social media! We’d also love to hear what other cool pieces of tech you’d want to see!

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