Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip
Qualcomm’s senior director of product marketing, Cisco Cheng, explains that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 device unveiled at the Snapdragon Summit today (November 15) is “purpose-built for AI.” The Qualcomm AI Engine includes features like multi-language translation, customized wake words, and artificial intelligence-driven camera capabilities. It is powered by an upgraded Hexagon processor. “The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip”
There are lots of new features coming to the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, including a beefed-up AI engine, which will likely power many Android phones in 2023, including the Samsung Galaxy S23.
Qualcomm chipsets are making smartphones smarter, and they are no exception.
A recent report by Qualcomm indicates that rival chip makers are paying more attention to the neural processing capabilities of their own silicon. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 comes with AI improvements as a result. Google’s Pixel 7 smartphone, for example, comes with a number of smart features powered by its own Tensor chips. A week ago, MediaTek announced Dimensity 9200, a system-on-chip with AI capabilities.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is due in upcoming Android smartphones, so here’s what we know so far.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – AI Engine
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones should get new AI features that sound very similar to what Google’s Tensor G2 chipset is bringing to the table for the latest Pixel 7 handsets. For Pixel 7 users, Qualcomm executives are mentioning features like translating multiple languages at once or blurring the background in videos.
Qualcomm has included the fastest AI Engine on its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 silicon. The tensor accelerator of the engine has been doubled in size and the Hexagon processor now supports micro tile inferencing, which speeds up neural network processing.
In Qualcomm’s math, those kinds of hardware changes translate into a 4.35x AI performance boost. Performance-per-watt is expected to increase by 60% thanks to Snapdragon’s support for INT4 precision.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – Performance
New chipsets will generate interest in their performance. This chipset is also manufactured using a 4-nanometer process, making it competitive with another 4nm chip, the A16 Bionic.
Compared to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset offered better battery test results. It is hoped that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will provide even greater battery life improvements.
It’s the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s Kryo CPU that is more intriguing. It’s supposed to improve power consumption by 40%. Our custom battery test, in which phones are forced to surf the web over cellular until they run out of power, was a common complaint when we reviewed Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered phones this past year.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – Availability
It is expected that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will make its way into phones before the end of this year. Initial debuts of those early devices are likely to be in China, but Qualcomm is adamant about letting its hardware partners announce specific phones.
Samsung is noticeably absent from that list, though that shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Although Samsung includes Snapdragon silicon in a lot of its handsets, including its Galaxy S flagship line, Samsung usually stays out of such Qualcomm announcements.
Accordingly, the company shared the names of multiple phone makers whose handsets are sold in the U.S. and Europe who’ve committed to releasing Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices, including Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Redi Sony, Xiaomi and ZTE. Qualcomm called out gaming phone makers such as Asus Republic of Gamers, Nubia and RedMagic, suggesting mobile gaming ranks high among the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s functions.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – Outlook and Overview
There is no doubt that we will see Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in some very significant phones due to Qualcomm’s prominence as a chipmaker. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered devices are expected to hit retail shelves in the near future, according to Qualcomm’s release timeline.
It will be interesting to see how they compare with Apple’s A16 Bionic and A15 Bionic when they arrive. Qualcomm’s new AI engine makes us curious to see how phone makers take advantage of it: will Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices compete with Google’s Tensor-powered Pixels when it comes to AI-powered experiences?
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – Elite Gaming Experience
Aside from the Kryo CPU, the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has also been improved over its predecessor. Comparing the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 1” to the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2,” Qualcomm expects a 25% increase in graphics rendering and a 45% increase in power efficiency.
Furthermore, Qualcomm has added more features to its Snapdragon Elite Gaming initiative, which brings console-quality gaming to smartphones. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is the first to feature real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Playing graphically demanding mobile games should result in better light and reflections.
Moreover, Snapdragon supports the optimized Metahumans framework for Unreal Engine 5. Photorealistic human characters should now be possible in games because of the added support.Vulkan performance is 30% higher on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with Vulkan 1.3 support.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Samsung Galaxy S23 AI super chip – Processor and Camera Capability
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen, Qualcomm’s system-on-chip offers the Spectra 18-bit triple cognitive image signal processor (ISP) to support cameras. With the help of an AI neural engine, the Spectra ISP for the first time relies on artificial intelligence.
With AI neural engines, a photo can have its face, facial features, hair, clothing, and sky recognized and optimized. The ISP can recognize and optimize each aspect of a frame in real-time using what’s known as real-time semantic segmentation. The Snapdragon 865 is the first Snapdragon chipset to support semantic segregation, but now the hardware supports it natively. Thus, the AI engine is communicating with the ISP, telling it if a pixel represents a face or sky, etc., and the ISP processes it accordingly.
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