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Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 launched with integrated X60 5G modem, better NPU, faster ISP

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Fans and enthusiasts have been waiting with bated breath for Qualcomm’s flagship SoC that will power most 2021 flagship smartphones. Standard naming conventions dictated that it would be called the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875. However, Qualcomm has somewhat of a surprise in store for us. The chipmaker has just announced that it will be called the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 instead. While the name might seem a bit off, it makes sense, considering that the digits are considered lucky in some cultures.

Earlier leaks told us that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 would reuse its predecessor’s 1+3+4 core configuration. We should know more about it soon, as Qualcomm hasn’t divulged any information about the chip’s innards. However, we know for sure that the chipset will come with Qualcomm’s shiny new X60 5G modem that will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks. Other 5G-related features include support for both standalone and non-standalone (SA and NSA) networks, multiple SIM cards, and more.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 also comes with a new AI engine that can perform up to 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS). It will go a long way towards improving a heap of camera-centric features like AI-driven portrait mode, colour correction, and more. The new NPU will undoubtedly help OEMs fine-tune on-device optimization features, such as optimizing battery usage, adjusting screen refresh rate, etc.

On the GPU side of things, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is expected to run the Adreno 660 (tentative) GPU. Its specifics, much like the chip’s core configuration, will be revealed later. However, Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 888’s image signal processor (ISP) is up to 35% faster than its predecessor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 will power a host of 2021 flagships from companies like OnePlus, ASUS, Sony, Realme, Oppo, Vivo and more. The chipset is expected to debut alongside the Xiaomi Mi 11, which may be launched soon.

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