Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 855 With 3x AI Performance

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It's here. Qualcomm's latest and greatest 7nm processor has just been officially announced at the company's annual Snapdragon Technology Summit.

Smartphones have already replaced standalone cameras for many people, and the Snapdragon 855 isn't going to ease up on the push to computational photography.

Also during the event, Justin Denison, senior VP of mobile product strategy and marketing for Samsung Electronics America, discussed Samsung's commitment to 5G including bringing the first flagship 5G smartphone to the USA in the first half of 2019 using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 mobile chip with 5G X50 modem.

Performance stuff. The 855 features Kryo 485 CPUs that offer up to a 45% performance boost over the Snapdragon 845. 5G phones will use the Snapdragon 855 as well, but the modem - which connects the phone to the data network - is a separate. A new Spectra 380 ISP will work with a new Computer Vision Pipeline to hardware-accelerate things like portrait mode and object tracking.

Lau didn't disclose exactly when its Snapdragon 855-powered phone would debut.

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Qualcomm doesn't make phones itself so it needs partners willing to put its technology inside their devices.

Curiously, the company says this phone is not the OnePlus 7, but instead the beginning of a new series of devices. That allows it to create a 3D topographical map of the fingerprint's details, with far more detail than a 2D representation. Aside from Samsung getting into bed with two hardcore rivals, Motorola is working with Verizon for its own device, while LG has plans to launch its own 5G compatible device on Sprint's network, also for the first half of 2019.

Since it uses ultrasonics, it can also see through grime and other substances.

Qualcomm has branded its innovative new fingerprint scanner "3D Sonic Sensor". The only time OnePlus has deviated from its main phones in the past has been with 2015's OnePlus X, but that was a midrange device at a lower price point - not the type of device we'd expect to see a flagship processor and 5G connectivity in. The 855 is the first Snapdragon chipset to support the next generation image and video storage codec (Google recently added support for the file format alongside Android 9 Pie).

In fact, though, it'll be OnePlus which ushers in the Snapdragon 855 age.

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