Qualcomm Unveils Powerful New Snapdragon SoC

Qualcomm on Wednesday announced the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, a System on a Chip built for immersive multimedia experiences including extended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence and high-speed connectivity.

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The SoC will power next-generation Android flagship smartphones and Windows 10 notebooks based on ARM architecture.

Xiaomi reportedly will use it in its forthcoming Mi 7 flagship, to be released next year.

The SoC incorporates Qualcomm’s Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP), its Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem, and the company’s secure processing unit (SPU), which enables improved biometrics security and user or application data key management.

The 845 supports Google’s TensorFlow and Tensorflow Lite, and Facebook’s Caffe/Caffe2 frameworks, as well as the new Open Neural Network Exchange. It also supports Google’s Android NN application programming interface.
The Importance of AI

The 845 triples improvement in overall AI performance, simplifying the taking of photos and videos and enhancing VR games, according to Qualcomm.

That will enable local processing of AI-enabled experiences, “without requiring the round-trip of data to the cloud and back,” Goertz said, thus reducing latency, providing resilience against network outages, and offering the option of on-device models to protect private and confidential data.

The SoC uses foveation, which substantially reduces power consumption, improves visual quality, and boosts XR application performance.

The advancements on the new ISP, combined with foveation, provides capabilities beyond even some of the best camera platforms.

The 845 lets consumers capture cinema-grade videos. It captures 64 times more high-dynamic range color information for video capture and playback on Ultra HD Premium displays.

Foveal tracking also helps improve power efficiency, Gartner’s Goertz remarked.

“Tracking gaze and retinal focus areas on a screen or immersive display reduces power consumption without materially impacting the user experience,” he explained. “The processor can track in real time where the user’s attention is focused, and work hard at processing the relevant images while spending less energy on other areas.”

The 845 consumes up to 30 percent less power for video capture, games, extended reality applications and graphics, which is huge.

Most biometric solutions aren’t secure, because of where the information is stored or how it’s processed. Having a completely secure block prevents anyone from accessing the information.”

The 845 Mobile Platform is expected to show up in commercial devices beginning in early 2018.

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