Qualcomm at its second annual Snapdragon Technology Summit on Tuesday in Hawaii announced the Snapdragon 845 SoC as its next top-end mobile processor. The new chip is designed to power a range of next-generation Android flagships that will debut in 2018. Xiaomi is the first to announce a smartphone with the processor - the Mi 7 - while companies like LG and Samsung can be expected to use the processor in their flagships next year. Windows 10 notebooks that would be based on ARM architecture are also likely to be based on the new chip.
Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile for Qualcomm Technologies, stated at the annual event that Snapdragon 845 will be the successor to the Snapdragon 835 that was unveiled at CES 2017 in January. The chip will include the latest X20 LTE modem that offers gigabit connectivity on supported networks. Additionally, it will be developed in partnership with Samsung Foundry.
"As the foundry partner for the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, we look forward to our continued collaboration," said Dr. ES Jung, president and general manager - foundry business, Samsung Electronics, in a press statement.
Dr. Jung highlighted that his team at Samsung Foundry are working on reducing power consumption and increasing performance in process technology. Both these initiatives would help Qualcomm market Snapdragon 845 as an advanced option for premium mobile devices.
Xiaomi's Lei Jun also joined the stage at the annual summit to announce a "close relationship" with Qualcomm. Jun, Xiaomi founder and CEO, confirmed that the next flagship Mi smartphone will be powered by Snapdragon 845. "Xiaomi is committed to making devices that combine cutting-edge innovations in technology and beautiful design while defying price expectations, and we have chosen Snapdragon 845 to power our next flagship smartphone," stated Jun. CNET reports that Jun also confirmed the name.
LG also came in the news for developing the LG G7 flagship with the new Qualcomm chip. The South Korean company hasn't yet revealed any formal details, though.
Some early reports claimed that Qualcomm is set to use a 7nm manufacturing process for designing the Snapdragon 845. However, considering various software- and hardware-level advancements required to support a smaller semiconductor technology, the new chip likely would retain the 10nm node that was debuted with the Snapdragon 835. Qualcomm may reduce the die size of the upcoming processor to a bit to give space to other components. Also, there are speculations that the new chip would have better power efficiency over its predecessor to deliver an enhanced battery life on newer hardware.
Specifications and features of Snapdragon 845 are expected to be announced on Wednesday itself. But devices with the new chip are not likely to be unveiled until January 2018.