Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon 820 Soc is already used by a handful of flagship phones released in 2016, but this is only the beginning. At the recent Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in China, Qualcomm revealed that, as yet, an additional 115 devices powered by the Snapdragon 820 SoC are already in development and planned for a market release by the end of 2016 and throughout 2017. Some chips will end up powering smartphones and tablets while others will be employed by car manufacturers and other industries.
Last year Qualcomm found itself in a difficult spot after launching the controversial Snapdragon 810 SoC. Numerous reports claimed that the Snapdragon 810 chipset wasn't too efficient in spreading heat, which led to overheating and some performance issues. This year, however, Qualcomm has done things differently. It went back to a quad-core configuration as opposed to using an octa-core CPU, it partnered with Samsung in order to manufacture the chipset in the Korean company's facilities using 14nm FinFET nodes, and the chipset was built using Qualcomm's newest proprietary "Kryo" cores instead of Cortex-A53 / Cortex-A57 cores. Needless to say, the Snapdragon 820 is currently the best chipset powering Android devices.
Thanks to the Snapdragon 820's popularity, Qualcomm revealed that the chipset is now being used by no less than 115 devices already in development. Some products fit in the smartphone and tablet categories while other manufacturers have adopted Qualcomm's top-tier SoC for robotics, virtual reality headsets, vehicles, and car infotainment systems. The Snapdragon 820 already powers a number of flagship phones including the Samsung Galaxy S7 series and the LG G5, as well as the LeEco Le Max 2, the Lenovo ZUK Z2 Pro, the Vivo Xplay 5 Ultimate and the Xiaomi Mi 5. For the automotive industry, Qualcomm demoed another SoC variant called the Snapdragon 820A, designed to power tablet dashboards with support for Apple Car Play, Google Android Auto, and QNX. Qualcomm says that some of these upcoming products will launch in the second half of 2016 others will hit the market sometime in 2017. Evidently, the Snapdragon 820A is expected to debut at a later date, as the automotive industry moves forward at a slower pace than the smartphone market.