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Qualcomm Makes the Snapdragon 820 Official

November 10, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

On Tuesday, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its highly anticipated Snapdragon 820 processor. This is their latest generation of their flagship SoC (System on a Chip), and will replace the Snapdragon 810. Which hasn’t had a great reputation, with all of the overheating issues its had. Qualcomm is holding an event today in NYC to announce the new Snapdragon 820 and released some of the specs of the processor. The Snapdragon 820 includes Cat. 12 downlink LTE which will boast  up to 600Mbps as well as supporting 3×20 MHz of carrier aggregation. Along with Cat. 13 uplink LTE with speeds up to 150Mbps. The new processor also supports cameras up to 28-megapixels, along with 4K Ultra HD capture and playback, it also supports 4K displays. On the GPU side, we’re looking at the Adreno 530 GPU, which does 64-bit computing through the Kryo CPU. The Snapdragon 820 also supports the previously announced Quick Charge 3.0 and USB 3.0. Qualcomm is also highlighting the new Hexagon 680 DSP which brings some pretty big improvements to performance and battery life.

Quick Charge 3.0 was announced a few months ago, and is even faster than the Quick Charge 2.0 standard that is in many smartphones released in the last year. Like the LG G4, HTC One M9, Motorola Moto X Pure Edition and a few others. Qualcomm says its four-times as fast as conventional charging, and 38% faster than Quick Charge 2.0. Quick Charge 3.0 is available in other processors from Qualcomm as well, including the Snapdragon 617 in the HTC One A9 announced last month.

The Adreno 530 GPU is a 40% improvement over the previous generation Adreno 430 GPU found in the Snapdragon 810. This should bring better graphics performance as well as better battery life as a result. Speaking of battery life, Qualcomm is also touting that the Hexagon 630 DSP brings twice the performance to the Snapdragon 820 when compared to the Snapdragon 810. Making that a pretty significant improvement. The Snapdragon 820 is also built on the 14nm process technology, making it even more energy efficient.

One of the newer features in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is the Haven Security Suite, which was announced not too long ago. It includes Qualcomm SecureMSM, Snapdragon StudioAccess, Qualcomm SafeSwitch, Qualcomm Snapdragon Sense ID, and Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart Protect. SecureMSM is for both the hardware and software of the device. StudioAccess protects the content on the device while SafeSwitch protects your device from being stolen, and when it is stolen it protects your content on the device. Sense ID is a 3D fingerprint technology that uses ultrasound waves for your fingerprint.

We got our first glimpse of the Snapdragon 820 at Mobile World Congress back in March, and the company has been announcing parts of the processor all year long. We have yet to see it available in a new smartphone just yet. But that shouldn’t be too long now. We should start seeing the Snapdragon 820 in smartphones at CES and Mobile World Congress in the beginning of 2016. Qualcomm will be a Q&A on Twitter a bit later today, in regards to the new Snapdragon 820, so you’ll want to stay tuned for that.