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Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Leak Suggests Rather Unusual CPU Arrangement

Snapdragon chip render
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Qualcomm last month unveiled the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a usual mid-year refresh of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship mobile processor launched late last year. The company has now shifted its focus on the next-gen offering, which should arrive as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Rumors about the new SoC (system-on-chip) have already started pouting in. The latest information suggests we are in for a pretty unusual CPU core arrangement this time.

Well-known Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station recently claimed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will have a four-cluster CPU arrangement (via). The octa-core chipset, identified by model number SM8550 and codename Kailua, will feature a 1+2+2+3 configuration. We are talking about one Cortex-X3 (codenamed Makalu-Elp), two Cortex-A720 (Makalu), two Cortex-A710 (Matterhorn ), and three Cortex-A510 (Klein-R1) CPU cores.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will mark a major shift in CPU arrangement

If this rumor turns out to be true, this would mark a major shift from a triple-cluster CPU arrangement (1+3+4) that Qualcomm has been using since the Snapdragon 855 back in 2019. Perhaps this could be the first time a mobile processor will feature four different CPU cores. All recent high-end chipsets feature three kinds of CPUs.

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While we still have one super core on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm is beefing up the middle cores with four of them. The Cortex-A720 and Cortex-A710 should allow for a major boost in sustained performance. This unusual CPU arrangement also means one less efficient core, but the company surely has done all the calculations.

Speaking of efficiency, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be reportedly manufactured on TSMC’s 4nm process node, the same as Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was manufactured on Samsung’s 4nm process). The Taiwanese firm’s chip fabrication tech has always been superior to that of its Koren rival. Its solutions are more power-efficient and exhibit lesser overheating issues than the latter. So the upcoming Snapdragon chipset should be pretty good in these regards. Perhaps a leak last month suggested it did considerably better than all preceding solutions in early energy efficiency tests.

The latest leak also reveals that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will feature the Adreno 740 GPU for graphics. It reportedly uses the same architecture as the Adreno 730 found in current solutions. But we may still see some performance improvements. Unfortunately, not much is known in this regard.

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If history is any indication, we should be seeing more leaks about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the coming months. Qualcomm will likely announce the new chipset at the end of this year.