The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus comes with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, faster CPU and GPU support
Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 865, their new mobile platform for 2020 new Android mobile apps, at the 2019 Snapdragon Tech Summit. The system-on-chip has proved to be the best SoC smartphone so far in 2020, beating the Exynos 990, Kirin 990, and MediaTek Dimensity 1000L. It was used in lauded flagships such as the OnePlus 8 series, the Xiaomi Mi 10, the Snapdragon Galaxy S20 models, and many more. Although the Snapdragon 865 remains the best-in-class on the Android smartphone market, Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 865 Plus, a mid-cycle refresh. It fits the pattern of previous mid-cycle Snapdragon refreshments including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus in 2019 and the Snapdragon 821 back in 2016.
The Snapdragon 865 Plus is a continuation of the Snapdragon 865. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 865 has powered more than 140 devices (announced or currently in development). The number is the largest number of individual premium-tier designs driven this year by a single mobile platform (although we have not seen these designs yet released on the sector).
With the exception of three points, the latest Snapdragon 865 Plus is exactly the same as the original Snapdragon 865. Firstly, the Prime core of the Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex-A77) CPU is now clocked at 3.1GHz, up from the standard Snapdragon 865’s 2.84GHz clock speed. The peak speed of the 3.1GHz clock finally matches the ideal predictions of ARM as regards the Cortex-A77. Snapdragon 855 Plus last year had increased its Prime core (ARM Cortex-A76-based) clock speed to 2.96GHz. The Kryo 585 ‘s Prime Core 3.1GHz clock speed is the highest ever seen in any Snapdragon SoC so far. The residual clock speeds of the CPU cores are untouched.
Second, the Adreno 650 GPU has a 10 per cent faster rendering of graphics. This makes it clear that Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus has increased the GPU’s clock speed, but in the press release the details about this were not given. Last year’s Snapdragon 855 Plus also featured 15 percent improvements in graphics performance over regular Snapdragon 855, so the incremental improvement level is similar. It should be noted that the 10 percent increase in GPU performance will not be sufficient to equal the GPU of the Apple A13, for example, as the peak delta and constant GPU performance will remain too high to resolve a 10 percent improvement in the performance of the Adreno 650.
Also expected to expand Apple’s lead over Qualcomm here is the upcoming Apple A14. At the other hand, the 10 percent improvement in GPU output would expand Qualcomm’s advantage over its SoC competition exclusively in the Android segment, as none of the other SoC vendors have even matched the GPU performance of the standard Adreno 650 so far. In the Exynos 990, Kirin 990, and Dimension 1000L, respectively, the Mali-G77MP11, the Mali-G76MP16, and the Mali-G77MC9 have all accomplished worse than Qualcomm in GPU tests performed, showing inferior per-watt performance.
Finally, and most notably, the Snapdragon 865 Plus sports the latest FastConnect 6900 mobile Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication system from Qualcomm. This was announced in May 2020 and the headline features it brings are Wi-Fi 6E support (Wi-Fi 6 extended to 6GHz) and Bluetooth 5.2 support. According to Qualcomm, the peak Wi-Fi speeds of the FastConnect 6900 reach up to 3.6Gbps-the highest in the industry. The speed improvements were done thanks to the U.S. FCC freeing up the 6GHz spectrum to 1200MHz for Wi-Fi.
The Snapdragon 865 Plus also bears characteristics of the standard Snapdragon 865, such as the full range of capabilities of Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming, global 5 G, and “ultra-intuitive” AI. High-quality gaming with first-to-mobile apps such as updatable GPU drivers and screen forward rendering, 5 G gameplay up to 144fps, and real 10-bit HDR gaming is said to be delivering. Compared to the standard Snapdragon 865, the Snapdragon 865 Plus includes Qualcomm’s Hexagon 698 with Hexagon Vector Extensions and Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, 5th-generation AI Processor, Dual 14-bit Spectra 480 ISP, Snapdragon X55 5 G modem-RF device, and more. It is developed on a 7 nm DUV (N7P) second-generation process by TSMC.
In the next generation of flagship phones will include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Processor, including the ASUS ROG Phone 3 and the Lenovo Legion. Qualcomm says commercial devices based on the Snapdragon 865 Plus are scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2020 and we believe this month will be the first announcements.
- Qualcomm ® KryoTM 585 offers a 10 per cent improvement in efficiency compared to Snapdragon 865
- Qualcomm ® AdrenoTM 650 GPU presents graphics from Snapdragon 865 up to 10 per cent faster
- Snapdragon Elite Gaming ‘s complete suite of apps including: Screen Forward Rendering, Qualcomm ® Game Color Plus v2.0, Qualcomm ® Smoother App
- Real 10-bit HDR gaming and GPU drivers for the first time enabled on smartphones
- Supports worldwide roaming and Multi-SIM services
- To support crisp, stable and sensitive audio, Bluetooth 5.2, Dual Bluetooth Antennas, aptX Pack and latest LE audio features combine.
- 4-Stream (2×2 + 2×2) Dual Band Simultaneous harnesses of multiple antennas and bands to deliver superior speed / latency performance compared to common two-stream implementations.
- 6 GHz (Wi-Fi 6E) operation dramatically expands the Wi-Fi capacity by adding up to 1200 MHz of additional Wi-Fi spectrum.
- FastConnect 6900 extends leading features of Wi-Fi 6 technology, and incorporates advanced audio capabilities.
- Suitable for standalone and non-standalone modes
- Suitable for standalone and non-standalone modes
- Appears to support all key regions, which include mmWave, sub-6, TDD, FDD and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) bands.
- CV-ISP functions at 2 Gigapixels per second
- Dolby Vision for Smartphone Video Capture
- No limit on HD video slow motion capture at 960 FPS
- Qualcomm ® Sensing Headlight
- Supports speech, audio, sensors and Accelerator Hexagon Voice Assistant for advanced voice use cases
- Qualcomm AqsticTM Audio Technologies offers native DSD support, PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit and “Golden Ears” filter that can be customized
- Low power AI voice assistance assistant with contextual knowledge
- Qualcomm ® aptXTM Audio adapter for powerful, low cost and high remarkable featured wireless audio
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