The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Snapdragon X Elite have been unveiled at the Snapdragon Summit. Although both processors target different customer groups – smartphone users and mobile PC users, respectively – they share one key feature: a heavy focus on AI.
Demand for AI applications continues to surge, driven partly by ChatGPT’s rapid growth to 1 million users in just 5 days. The demand is driven by AI’s potential to unlock higher productivity for users, and the launch of these new chipsets indicates that Qualcomm is positioning itself to satisfy the growing demand from OEMs and their customers.
Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite
The “X” tag on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite distinguishes this new chip designed for PCs from Snapdragon’s other products. Qualcomm announced that this new chip will be the “most powerful computing processor” it has created for the PC, delivering top-tier performance, AI interference, and enhanced battery efficiency for individuals and businesses.
The Snapdragon X Elite has a 4nm System-on-a-Chip architecture that houses a 12-core Qualcomm Oryon CPU and Qualcomm Adreno GPU. According to Qualcomm, the CPU and GPU perform intensive tasks with fast responsiveness and deliver superb graphics with minimal power consumption.
The new chip also comes with a Qualcomm AI Engine that features an integrated Qualcomm Hexagon Neural Processing Unit, which powers AI features on PCs that use this chip. Enhancements to the AI Engine will enable it to run generative AI LLM models with up to 13B parameters on-device and support Windows Studio Effects, among others.
In addition to this, Qualcomm has taken steps to prioritize user security in a world where security breaches are an everyday concern. Qualcomm disclosed that an updated Micro NPU and a Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit have been integrated into the chip to secure user data on the PC, and even on the cloud. These security features leverage memory encryption capabilities and Microsoft Secured-Core attributes incorporated into the Snapdragon X Elite.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite supports ultrafast 5G, Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, up to 64GB RAM, UHD120 HDR10 on-device display, and up to two UHD60 HDR10 external displays. The Snapdragon X Elite can handle up to a 36MP dual camera, 64MP single camera, and 4K HDR video.
Other intriguing features include Snapdragon Seamless, a feature that allows users to seamlessly switch between Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices. Additionally, Snapdragon Sound Technology Suite promises an immersive audio experience even with wireless headphones.
Snapdragon X Elite is expected to ship with PCs coming in mid-2024.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor is the latest chip from Qualcomm for high-end smartphones. With a strong focus on delivering high-performance AI, flagship-level performance, and enhanced power efficiency, this chip promises to elevate the smartphone experience.
Like its PC counterpart, the Snapdragon X Elite, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor will bring next-level generative AI features to flagship smartphones from brands like ASUS, Honor, iQOO, MEIZU, NIO, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, Redmi, RedMagic, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
Qualcomm disclosed that the new chip will have a Qualcomm AI Engine that improves the way we interact with virtual assistants and powers on-device generative AI capabilities. The AI Engine supports multiple language, vision, and speech recognition models with up to an impressive 13 billion parameters. Users will now enjoy the ability to engage with these models directly on their devices.
Furthermore, Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor is capable of delivering stable diffusion image generation in a fraction of a second, running LLM models at speeds of up to 15 tokens/second, and using the Qualcomm Sensing Hub to personalize the virtual assistant based on individual usage patterns.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 takes a page from Google’s playbook by introducing advanced AI features to smartphone cameras. Smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 can now offer advanced image and video editing capabilities, such as enabling users to make real-time adjustments to their images, even in low-light conditions.
For example, an innovative Video Object Eraser feature from Arcsoft will allow users to seamlessly remove people or objects in videos. A 200MP sensor from Samsung will allow users to capture multiple videos simultaneously, track objects, and record 4K footage at up to 4x zoom.
For those seeking top-notch photography features, Smartphones equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor can shoot up to 8K HDR video at 30fps, and 4K video at 120fps, and feature an impressive camera setup of up to 108MP.
Furthermore, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 also supports up to 4K 60Hz display, incorporates Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 technology, and boasts Snapdragon Elite Gaming features. Among these gaming features is Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing with Global Illumination, courtesy of Unreal Engine 5.2, which promises an immersive gaming experience.
Qualcomm emphasized improvements to 5G capabilities on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, such as enhanced 5G performance, speeds, and coverage using the new Snapdragon X75 Modem-RF System. This system leverages an AI tensor hardware accelerator to deliver up to 10Gbps downlink and 3.5Gbps uplink.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is also set to provide reliable Wi-Fi 7 using the Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 Mobile Connectivity System.
Qualcomm did not disclose the exact Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 shipping date.