Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon 855 chip

Image credit: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has used its latest developers conference to show off its new Snapdragon 8565 chipset, which is expected to be at the heart of many of next year's high-end Android smartphones.

The Snapdragon 855 is the successor to the highly-popular 845, and will be the world's first commercial platform to support 5G capabilities, a well as offer advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) support.

Alex Katouzian, senior vice-president and general manager for mobile at Qualcomm, said: "As operators launch 5G networks in early 2019, consumers will for the first time be able to take advantage of transformative 5G consumer experiences on mobile devices with Snapdragon 855."

One of the key features of the new chip is the X50 5G modem, which has been designed to achieve multi-gigabit speeds that have previously been unattainable for mobile devices. Qualcomm estimates that users can expect average performance that is up to 20 times faster than some of the current commercial solutions.

This will help consumers "master the extreme data demands of today and pave the way for next-generation immersive experiences, including multiplayer virtual reality gaming, shopping with augmented reality, and real-time video collaboration", the company continued.

It also features the fourth-generation multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine, which offers up to three times the AI performance compared to the previous generation mobile platform. 

Meanwhile, Qualcomm promises the Snapdragon 855 will also help users capture better photos, while the range of XR features will allow for virtual reality immersive video experience at 8K resolutions. 

"This gives users the ultimate freedom to watch, learn, play and share dynamic experiences in real time, even further blurring the visual lines between physical and virtual worlds," Qualcomm stated.

The Snapdragon 855 is expected to make its first appearances in many of 2019S flagship phones. So far, only OnePlus has confirmed that its next smartphone – rumoured to be the OnePlus 7 – will feature Qualcomm's next development, but the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10, Sony Xperia XZ4 and LG G8 could all be among the early devices to ship with the chip.