Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC) will be clocked at a maximum operating frequency of 2.5GHz, one industry insider from China said earlier today, suggesting that the upcoming chip from the San Diego, California-based tech giant won't offer a significant improvement over its predecessor in terms of base clock speeds. The SoC is still expected to be vastly superior to the 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 thanks to the new manufacturing technologies, with the Snapdragon 845 being expected to be produced using TSMC's 7nm process node, as per the recently signed agreement between the two companies.
Not all industry watchers close to China's chip manufacturing operations agree with the latter point, with some speculating that Qualcomm may decide to stick with the 10nm process node for one additional year and deliver an octa-core SoC that's only a slight upgrade over the Snapdragon 835. However, such a move wouldn't correspond with the company's previous product strategy which is adamant to maintain the validity of Moore's Law, i.e. double the number of transistors per square inch of its integrated circuits every year. If Qualcomm ends up releasing another premium 10nm chip, such an offering would likely debut before the Snapdragon 845 does and may end up being marketed as the Snapdragon 836, with this particular moniker circulating the industry for months now and recent rumors suggesting it's set to be commercialized in early 2018.
The Adreno 630 GPU is also said to be part of the Snapdragon 845 package, and Qualcomm previously confirmed that its next-generation mobile SoC will ship with the company's latest X20 modem capable of achieving 1.2Gbps download speeds. The Snapdragon 845 is still likely to feature no more than eight 64-bit cores and continue Qualcomm's strategy of performance optimizations; the Snapdragon 835 is approximately 25 percent more energy-efficient than the Snapdragon 821, and Qualcomm's 2018 module is expected to offer a similar efficiency jump compared to its immediate predecessor. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are likely to be the first two smartphones that will utilize the upcoming SoC as Samsung traditionally reserves initial batches of Qualcomm's premium chips for its annually revised Android flagship series. Other manufacturers that are expected to utilize the Snapdragon 845 include the likes of LG, HTC, Sony, and Huawei.