Qualcomm’s First ARM V9 Chip Is Coming
There are big things afoot at Qualcomm, and not just the spinning off of Snapdragon as a separate brand, they are also going to use ARM V9 as the basis of their Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. The chip will feature eight cores, a single Arm Cortex-X2 running at 3GHz, three Cortex-A710 performance cores running at 2.5GHz, and then four power efficient Cortex-A510 cores which peak at 1.8GHz. This should allow devices to quickly switch from high efficiency to high performance quickly, ensuring you get the most life possible out of your phone’s battery.
Along with the Cortex chips, there will be a new Adreno GPU which Qualcomm suggests will be able to provide twice the frames per second of their current Snapdragon 888, while retaining the same power consumption; or to halve the power consumption while keeping identical performance to the current generation. As you should expect, there is also what they call a seventh-generation AI engine as well as a new Hexagon digital signal processor.
The so called AI will offer a variety of features, one which might cause some consternation as not everyone wants their phone’s camera to be active 100% of the time. In part, that is to ensure facial recognition works perfectly even with a mask on but they also suggest that it could be used to detect someone shoulder surfing you and act to ensure whatever you were doing remains private. Interestingly The Register also mentions that the AI technology on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip could be used in helping in mental and physical health. Specifically it could pick out patterns in voice and breathing to detect if someone was having an asthma attack or a coronavirus infection.
That last bit is likely to turn off at least a few prospective buyers.
Qualcomm said it has adopted an "ethical" design philosophy for AI, and the trend for the future will be putting even more AI capabilities directly on devices. The firm's view: AI that happens on the device stays on the device, and AI on the chip is better than data going out of the confines of the device.