At the annual Snapdragon Technology Summit held this week, Qualcomm announced a new generation of chips under its Snapdragon brand. The most eye-catching is Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is essentially an incremental update to last year’s Snapdragon 888, suitable for next-generation flagship Android phones to be launched later this year and next year. However, the San Diego-based company also uses Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 as its two new system-on-chip (SoC) models for Windows laptops and Chromebooks, and Snapdragon G3x as its design chip for handheld games equipment.

Host Akhil Arora spoke with comment editor Jamshed Avari and senior commentator Sheldon Pinto on this week’s TechnologyShout podcast Orbital show to discuss Qualcomm’s new announcement.

At this year’s Snapdragon Technology Summit, the major announcement of the mobile phone was the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Compared with the Snapdragon 888 launched last year, the chip has undergone a large-scale upgrade. However, it does have some incremental changes that are said to help provide better processing, faster artificial intelligence (AI) performance, and upgraded graphics rendering.

One big change brought about by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is that the new brand identity is separated from the existing digital series. This is obvious, because the number of Qualcomm is running out-thanks to the various Snapdragon digital series models recently launched. Qualcomm now seems to be promoting Snapdragon as a unique brand through the use of a new nomenclature.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes with a brand new brand without the company’s digital series title
Image source: Qualcomm

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 also claims to have some compelling features, including an 18-bit image signal processor (ISP) that can capture 8K HDR video. There is also a new always-on ISP, and Qualcomm said it will help enable always-on face unlock and lock the device when you are looking at the screen. However, this particular update may cause some privacy issues.

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Qualcomm has also partnered with health technology company Sonde Health to develop a terminal artificial intelligence technology that claims to analyze users’ voice patterns to determine whether they are at risk for health conditions, including asthma, depression, and COVID-19.

The features of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 may help Qualcomm maintain its strong position in the smartphone market in 2022 and make it an active competitor with Taiwan MediaTek, which also owns the Dimensity 5G chip series.

In addition to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, Qualcomm also introduced the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 as its new chip for high-end Windows laptops and Chromebooks. It is the successor of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 and is manufactured using 5nm process technology. The chip claims to provide faster performance than competing x86 platforms. The company also brought Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 chips to affordable laptops and Chromebooks, as well as 5G connectivity support.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 seem to be Qualcomm’s responses to Intel and AMD (traditional chip manufacturers in the notebook computer market). However, Qualcomm’s rival MediaTek is also exploring to gain revenue and in the notebook computer market through its own chips.

In order to enter new markets, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 as its first chip for handheld gaming devices. Manufacturers who hope to develop specialized hardware for mobile gamers can accept this. Companies including Asus, Black Shark and Nubia have tried to please audiences with their gaming phones in the past. But this time Qualcomm seems to have a different approach.

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Qualcomm demonstrated the concept of a handheld gaming device in collaboration with Razer, which it provides to developers to build games for its new initiatives. However, we have seen chip manufacturers and partners Razer able to change the scale of the gaming industry through their continuous efforts.

Picture of Snapdragon g3x 1st generation handheld gaming device Qualcomm Snapdragon 3cx 1st generation handheld gaming device

Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 handheld game development is a concept we can see in the future
Image source: Qualcomm

We discussed all of this and more in this episode of Orbital. You can capture it by clicking the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...