Qualcomm has unveiled the next processor for flagship Android phones. It is called the Snapdragon 845, and this will succeed the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 which powers the current line-up of Android flagships such as the OnePlus 5T, LG V30+, global editions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the Nokia 8, among others. 

The Snapdragon 845 integrates a Kryo 385 CPU, Adreno 630 graphics, a Hexagon 685 DSP (digital signal processor), a Spectra 280 ISP (image signal processor), AQustic Audio and the X20 Gigabit LTE radio. The 10-nanometer Kryo 385 has four performance cores which clock up to 2.8GHz and two efficiency cores which clock at 1.8GHz. The performance cores are 25% faster than before. The graphics are also claimed to be 30% faster than before. 

The company claims the Snapdragon 845 will offer faster AI processing than the Snapdragon 835, with the new Hexagon DSP. The chip comes with improved voice recognition and low-power voice processing, as well as support for Google’s TensorFlow and Facebook’s Caffe frameworks. 

Qualcomm also expects that the Snapdragon 845 will be about 30% more power efficient than the Snapdragon 835, which should help the smartphone battery life significantly.

There is also a completely new secure processing unit, which will be used for biometric authentication, security for integrated SIMs and protecting data on the phone. This will be separate from the main processor, and should be useful for apps that are required for making payments, banking apps etc. 

Photography will also get a big boost with the Snapdragon 845, with the focus now being on improving pixel image quality rather than just supporting more pixels. Cameras in devices running Snapdragon 845 will be able to capture at the Rec. 2020 color gamut, while its predecessors were limited to Rec. 709 colour gamut. Cameras will also be able to capture up to 64-times higher high dynamic range (HDR) colour details and the colour depth is now 10 bits instead of 8 bits earlier. 

Smartphones launched next year should be able to take advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. One of the first phones expected to run this chip would be the Samsung Galaxy S9, which is expected to be launched in the first half of 2018. 

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