Qualcomm has announced its next flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
It’s always big news when Qualcomm announces a new top-end mobile processor, because you can guarantee that it’ll be powering the vast majority of new flagship smartphones released in the following calendar year.
We’re not expecting any different for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which Qualcomm announced at its Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii. Here’s everything we know about the new System on Chip (SoC).
What is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is Qualcomm’s latest flagship mobile processor, following on from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that powers the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23, the Xiaomi 13, and the OnePlus 12.
This new chip comes with a particular focus on generative AI, alongside the expected bump in CPU and GPU performance.
What upgrades can you expect from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
Qualcomm is promising upgrades across the board, with a particular focus on AI. This is the company’s first AI Engine to support multi-modal generative AI models, which means it can run things like large language models (LLM) locally and speedily for extremely fast AI assistant response times.
Here are some of the other key facts and figures surrounding the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and it’s upgraded components.
AI performance on the Qualcomm Sensing Hub will be 3.5x more powerful than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with 30% more memory. It will also support Meta Llama 2-based AI assistants.
Qualcomm is promising that its new neural processing unit (NPU) is up to 98% faster and 40% more efficient compared to the previous generation.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s new Kryo CPU sports a 3.3GHz clock speed, and features a 30% boost in performance over the Gen 2. It’s also 20% more efficient.
In terms of graphical performance, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is 25% faster and 25% more efficient than the Gen 2. Qualcomm’s big claim here is that 240fps gaming is now possible, while it’ll also support Unreal Engine 5’s Lumen dynamic global illumination and reflections system for console-quality lighting.
Ray Tracing is 40% better than before.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s LPDDR5x RAM will be clocked at 4.8GHz, making it the fastest on-device memory in the industry.
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s new Cognitive ISP, it supports real-time semantic segmentation in images, which means you can individually optimise different components of a shot in real-time in up to 12 layers.
as well as a dual-camera “Vlogger’s View” mode. It also supports Dolby HDR photo capture with 10-bit color depth, Rec 2020 color gamut, and over 1 billion shades of colour.
Truepic photo capture with C2PA support means that you can apply a cryptographic seal to prove the photo you’ve just taken is real and not AI-generated.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 now supports Qualcomm Expanded Personal Area Network Technology (XPAN), which enables uninterrupted lossless audio when away from your phone or moving from room to room without eating up lots of power.
The Snapdragon X75 Modem-RF System is the world’s first 5G modem with an integrated AI tensor hardware accelerator, which promises better speed, coverage, mobility, stability, and location accuracy.
The Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 Mobile Connectivity System enables support for Wi-Fi 7.
Which brands are expected to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
Most of the major (non-Apple) smartphone manufacturers will adopt the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 into their flagship lines for 2023, but Qualcomm has specifically mentioned 15 brands.
In alphabetical order, they are: Asus, Honor, iQoo, Meizu, NIO, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Redmi, RedMagic, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
Expect to see the first phones running on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 announced towards the very end of 2023.
What they say
“Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 infuses high-performance AI across the entire system to deliver premium-level performance and extraordinary experiences to consumers,” said Qualcomm’s senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets, Chris Patrick.
“This platform unlocks a new era of generative AI enabling users to generate unique content, help with productivity, and other breakthrough use cases.”
You can find out more details on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip from the Qualcomm website. Naturally, we’ll be covering the first batch of phones to make use of this chip just as soon as they show their faces.