5nm Samsung 5LPE Process Technology, Tri-Cluster CPU With Super-Core Cortex-X1 And Built-In 5G Modem
Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 888 flagship mobile SoC the day before yesterday, without going into technical details. As part of the second day of the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020, the manufacturer, as expected, spoke in detail about the technical characteristics and features of the silicon “heart” of the upcoming flagship smartphones of 2021, so we now know everything about the new product.
Preliminary data on a three-cluster CPU with one high-performance Cortex-X1 core has been fully confirmed, as well as the fact that the Snapdragon 888 is not manufactured by TSMC. Still, Samsung – the new generation of Qualcomm’s top platform is produced using a 5-nanometer process technology (5LPE). Recall that the two previous generations – Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 865 – were produced using a 7-nanometer process technology at TSMC facilities.
Another important feature of the Snapdragon 888 is the built-in 5G modem. On the PCB, and therefore in the device case, this SoC will take up less space and consume less power than the previous circuit, when the modem was installed as a separate chip.
Comparison of characteristics of Snapdragon 888, Snapdragon 865, and Snapdragon 855
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|Date of announcement||December 5, 2018||December 4, 2019||December 2, 2020|
|Process technology nm||7 nm (TSMC N7)||7 nm (TSMC N7P)||5 nm (Samsung 5LPE)|
|Charging||Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 (100+ W)|
|Means of communication|
The Snapdragon 888 is configured with an eight-core processor with one high-performance Cortex-X1 @ 2.84GHz, three mid-range Cortex-A78 @ 2.4GHz, and four energy-efficient Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8GHz. Qualcomm itself calls all cores its own marketing name Kryo 680, but these are reference Cortex cores without any significant modifications. The Snapdragon 888 is the first mobile SoC to use the latest Cortex-X1 and Cortex-A78 IP cores. Qualcomm estimates that the Snapdragon 888 CPU is 25% faster than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 865.
The new GPU is called the Adreno 660 and is 35% faster in rendering than the Adreno 650 GPU in the Snapdragon 865; separately, the manufacturer declares the new graphics a 20% reduction in power consumption and a 43% increase in performance in AI tasks.
The Snapdragon 888 also comes with a third-generation Qualcomm X60 integrated modem, Spectra 580 triple image processor (ISP), the sixth generation AI Engine with a Hexagon 780 processor, which is responsible for accelerating the processing of artificial intelligence tasks. But we mentioned all this in the preliminary announcement the day before yesterday.
The SoC also includes a FastConnect 6900 communication module that provides Wi-Fi 6 support, including Wi-Fi 6E (6 GHz band), Bluetooth 5.2, and Qualcomm aptX Adaptive and Qualcomm aptX Voice codecs. This Wi-Fi chip supports 4-stream (2×2 + 2×2) simultaneous dual-band (DBS) operation, enabling 6GHz 2×2 link aggregation with 5GHz 2×2 for a peak speed of 3, 6 Gbps.
Additionally, the Snapdragon 888 supports 3200MHz LPDDR5 RAM, 4K 60Hz or 144Hz QHD + displays, 100W Quick Charge 5, and USB 3.1 via Type-C port.
Xiaomi has confirmed that the upcoming flagship Xiaomi Mi 11 will be one of the world’s first smartphones to be powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC. The full list of brands that have confirmed the release of smartphones based on the Snapdragon 888 SoC: