Qualcomm announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 at the Snapdragon Summit 2023, the successor to the well-received Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. In both performance and efficiency, Qualcomm had a massive success last year. What are the new features of Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
This year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is all about on-device AI, but we’ll get to that later. The first thing we need to discuss is its architecture. Based on TSMC’s 4nm process node, the 8 Gen 3 has an octa-core CPU cluster. Instead of using Nuvia cores that are available on the Snapdragon X Elite, it’s still using Kryo cores.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 comes with a single Cortex-X4 prime core clocked at 3.3GHz, three Cortex-A720 cores clocked at 3.2GHz, two Cortex-A720 cores clocked at 3.0GHz, and two Cortex-A520 cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The core setup is basically 1+(3+2)+2 with the Cortex-A720 core clocked at two different speeds. A total of 12MB of L3 cache is available.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has seen a 30% performance improvement over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 due to the newer ARM cores. With this, Qualcomm has stopped supporting 32-bit architectures. Qualcomm uses the best Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is 25% faster than the Adreno 740 on last year’s SD8Gen2.
In addition, the new Adreno GPU still offers 25% greater power efficiency than the Adreno 740. Furthermore, 240FPS gaming is supported as well as 1Hz. This year, Qualcomm has partnered with Unreal Engine to bring Lumen Global Illumination and reflections to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, enhancing the Ray Tracing experience even further.
Additionally, the new Adreno GPU on Gen 3 8 introduces something called Adreno Frame Motion Engine (AFME 2.0) to generate frames in real-time, which increases gaming frame rates from 60FPS to 120FPS. Its upscaling technology is similar to that of Apple’s A17 Pro.
AI & ISP:
Compared to last year’s NPU, the new Hexagon NPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is 98% faster and 40% more efficient. The device can run LLM models on-device and generate 15 tokens per second. Qualcomm has partnered with Meta to run the LLama 2 model locally. Qualcomm claims that the SD 8Gen3 can handle LLMs trained on more than 10 billion parameters. In less than 1 second, it can generate images.
The Hexagon NPU can handle images, speech, and text data AI capabilities have also been added to the SD 8 Gen3’s ISP. It is capable of removing objects from videos, enlarging photos, performing semantic segmentation up to 12 layers, as well as enhancing low-light videos significantly. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X75 modem is used for 5G connectivity.