Qualcomm could follow Apple's lead and go bold with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 design

Qualcomm could follow Apple’s lead and go bold with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 design

last month, and rumors have already started about its successor, which we assume will be known as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Most chips for Android phones have an octa-core processor with three clusters, but it looks like Gen 2 will have a different layout.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will have four average cores

Leak Digital Chat Station, which has many credible leaks under its belt, claims that SM8550 Kailua, which is apparently the model number and codename, respectively, for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, will be based on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s 4nm Company (TSMC) process, which was also used for the 8 Plus Gen 1.
What’s more interesting though, is that the chip will deviate from the common design of one Arm big core, three medium cores and four low power cores used by most chipmakers for their high-end chips. range that feed the best android phones around.

In fact, even the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is based on this configuration, with one Cortex-X2 core, three Cortex A710 cores, and four Cortex A510 cores. Not so long ago, chips had four big cores and four small cores. For example, the Snapdragon 845 had four A75-based cores and four A55-based cores.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will apparently shake things up. According to today’s leak, the chip will feature a level with a Makalu generation core, another cluster with two Makalu generation cores, followed by two Matterhorn cores and three Klein R1 cores.

If that sounds like word salad, Arm’s Matterhorn generation refers to its 2021 Cortex processors, while Makalu is for 2022 phones.

This implies that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will have one Cortex-X3 core, which has yet to be announced, two Cortex-A720 cores, two 2021 A710 cores, and three older A510 cores. The tipster adds that it will come with the Adreno 740 GPU.

Qualcomm is still not ready to abandon an instruction architecture that Apple has long since gotten rid of

Arm announced the Matterhorn and Makalu generations in 2020 and said they will provide up to 30% performance improvement. The company had also said that starting with the 2022 designs, its big Cortex-A cores would only support the 64-bit instruction set.

This is because 64-bit code offers a faster and more responsive experience compared to 32-bit. Chinese release It is the house reports that OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi no longer allow new 32-bit apps on their app stores to improve user experience.

Chipmakers apparently plan to phase out support for 32-bit code, which seems to explain why the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip will also have A710 and A510 cores. Otherwise, if it only opts for Makalu cores, next year’s high-end Android phones might not be able to run some older apps.

Apple has an architectural license with Arm that allows it to make changes to designs. Its smartphone chips have six cores: two high-performance cores and four power-efficient cores, and are believed to be much faster than Android chips, largely because the company has been using a 64-bit instruction architecture since 2013.
Google’s tailor-made The Tensor chip that powers the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro also has an unusual configuration that aims to improve efficiency and includes two Arm Cortex-X1 cores, as well as older mid and lower power cores, and it seems to have worked well. for the company. .

So while it’s not unusual for chipmakers to use older CPU designs, it’s still unclear why Qualcomm is opting for a different design.

Which seems strange – as noted Android Authority – is that instead of sticking with Arm’s fused approach for the Cortex-A510, which sees two cores paired together to enable resource sharing, Qualcomm is also opting for a single core with its own dedicated sources, which could reduce efficiency.
Could it be that the 2+2 average core efficiency gains make up for that? It seems likely, given this well-known leaker ice universe said late last month that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is much more efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.
Still, it’s hard to make a full sense of what Qualcomm is doing here, but the rumored specs have definitely piqued our interest. Will this be the year when Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip finally takes over the iPhone’s A-series SoC? Well, it’s too early to comment on that, but if Qualcomm is straying from Arm’s chip design guidelines, it’s surely on to something.

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