Qualcomm releases Snapdragon 865: integrated 5G AI engine and billion-pixel ISP
On the second day of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Annual Technology Summit in Hawaii, the United States announced the technical details of the Snapdragon 865 5G mobile platform. The Snapdragon 865 uses TSMC's 7nm process, with a peak rate of 7.5 Gbps and an AI engine computing power of 15 TOPS, which provides data processing capabilities that are three times the data compression and less than 1% accuracy loss of the previous generation. The combination of 5G and AI capabilities, as well as the processing capabilities of 8K streaming media and billions of pixels, have become concerns.
Full upgrade of unit modules
Compared with the previous generation product Snapdragon 855, 865 has completely upgraded the unit module. The performance of the CPU Kryo 585 is up to 25%, and the overall performance of the GPU Adreno 650 GPU is 25% higher than the previous generation platform. The image signal unit Spectra 480 ISP developed by Qualcomm supports billion-pixel-level processing capability and 2 billion-pixel-per-second processing speed. Support mobile terminal 8K video capture, 1 billion color 4K HDR video capture, 200 million pixel photo capture, and high-definition slow motion video capture through 960 fps unlimited time.
As a 5G mobile platform that emphasizes connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 integrates an X55 5G modem and RF system. Supports millimeter wave and TDD and FDD frequency bands below 6 GHz, non-independent (NSA) and independent (SA) networking modes, dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), global 5G roaming, and support for multiple SIM cards. In addition to 5G connectivity, 865 also introduces Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth ultra-wideband voice, providing lower latency, longer battery life, and higher link stability for wireless headphones and earbuds.
The fifth-generation AI engine is the main highlight of this Snapdragon 865. The tensor accelerator Hexago developed by Qualcomm is the core of the AI engine. The TOPS performance is 4 times that of the previous generation tensor accelerator, and the running energy efficiency is improved by 35%. It can provide support for AI-based real-time translation, that is, the mobile phone can translate user's voice into foreign language text and voice in real time. The sensor hub enables the terminal to sense the surrounding environment with very low power consumption. High-precision voice detection ensures that voice assistants can clearly and accurately accept user instructions, and enhanced always-on sensors and intelligent voice recognition further enhance situational awareness AI to a whole new level. At the same time, Qualcomm has upgraded the neural processing SDK, Hexagon NN Direct, and AI Model Enhancer tools, enabling developers to create faster response and smarter applications with a high degree of freedom and flexibility.
Separate design and TSMC 7nm
For Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 and integrated 5G platform Snapdragon 765, the biggest doubt in the industry is why the design of the built-in baseband is used in the 765 for the high-end market instead of the 865 for the flagship market.
In the Q & A session on the second day of the summit, Keith Kressin, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm, explained the 865's motivation for adopting a discrete design. Keith Kressin said that, in general, Qualcomm will choose when there are major improvements in the application processor (AP) and modem sides in the intergenerational conversion of technologies, such as 3G to 4G and now 4G to 5G. Not integrated.
"Usually, the integrated approach is based on space, power and cost considerations. First of all, on the top product platforms, we have done a lot of work to ensure that whether it is a separate or integrated design, the power of both Consumption performance is very similar. Secondly, from the perspective of occupied space area, we have a modular platform to choose from. If manufacturers care about space area, using a modular platform can save more space than integration. Third, from OEM manufacturers From the perspective, OEMs have adopted the Snapdragon X50 on flagship phones, and the design cycle of flagship smartphones is relatively long. They prefer to use our existing discrete X55 solution, because it is already used for mobile phones. The design has been optimized, just join the Snapdragon 865. "
He also said that in terms of product design, Qualcomm listened to the opinions of OEM manufacturers. The design strategy of the Snapdragon 865 is not to sacrifice the performance of the application processor or modem in order to be a SoC. "Whether it is for end users or OEMs, adopting a separate baseband will not bring them disadvantages or inconveniences. As for the integrated type, technically we can completely achieve it, which has been adopted on the Snapdragon 7 series mobile platform This way. From a cost perspective, it is also reasonable to adopt this approach on mobile platforms at the mid- to high-end level. "Keith Kressin said.
It is worth noting that Qualcomm built the Snapdragon 865 based on TSMC's 7nm technology, but handed over the 765's foundry to Samsung's 7nm EUV process. In this regard, Keith Kressin said that when choosing a foundry for each chip, Qualcomm will comprehensively consider technical parameters such as chip power consumption and package size, as well as commercial factors such as wafer availability, production speed and supply chain diversity. The planned shipments of Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 are relatively large. From the level of technical parameters, TSMC and Samsung have similar performance in terms of power consumption and performance. Therefore, the final decision is more based on commercial considerations to ensure that Diversity of supply.
"TSMC and Samsung are the world's leading foundry companies. We have adopted TSMC's most advanced mass production process technology and also adopted Samsung's most advanced mass production process technology to ensure more adequate supply and higher Supply diversity. "Keith Kressin said.
Editor-in-chief: Zhang Xinyi