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Cortex-X3 May Cause Battery Issues In Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 & Other Chips

Snapdragon chip render
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Battery life in smartphones could get worse before it gets better, based on a fresh leak regarding the ARM Cortex-X3 super core set to be used in upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips. And that will also apply to Samsung Exynos 2300, and MediaTek Dimensity 10000 chipsets. That’s if the details in the leak, shared first via South Korea’s Meeco social network are accurate.

Battery life is a trade-off for performance with the upcoming chips

In terms of speculated impacts on the upcoming chips’ battery life, whether Snapdragon or otherwise, this isn’t a new trend. ARM Cortex-X1 performed better than Cortex-X2 on that front. And that was offset, in part, by improvements to performance.

That will reportedly hold true for the ARM Cortex-X3 found in the above-mentioned chips too. With battery performance drops of up to 10-percent when cores, in the Snapdragon 8 or otherwise, are clocked at 3.0GHz or higher. Primarily impacting performance in battery-intensive apps and services.

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In terms of the trade-off, AI performance will be bolstered by over 100-percent compared to the ARM Cortex-X2 cores. Meaning that AI and AI-related functions from the camera to other areas will improve dramatically. But that also comes at a cost for CPU performance for related tech. Which the source says, “has not increased significantly.”

Other technologies could serve as an offset and this trend may not be long-term

Now, ARM Cortex cores won’t necessarily continue to drop in battery performance going forward. And, equally importantly, these numbers haven’t been confirmed just yet either. As of this writing, they are reportedly pulled from Samsung and chipmaker TSMC’s next-gen nodes.

Qualcomm, conversely, will be using these cores for now. But it has been shifting away from ARM. It will also allegedly begin to use its own cores around the time of the expected Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 launch. And other companies could ultimately end up following suit. Or buying Qualcomm’s cores instead, if there are substantial improvements, if and when that happens. But that’s a couple of years away, at the very least.

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In the interim, secondary technologies relating to the displays and software on smartphones will be important for upcoming models. Especially with regard to the overall impact of continued battery drain increase from the chip.