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It's time once again for Qualcomm to unleash a slew of new chips from its annual Tech Summit in Hawaii, and after we got a quick preview yesterday of what to expect, we're now getting the details of the latest Snapdragon products. In addition to unveiling its first integrated 5G chipset today, the company also showed off the next generation of its premium flagship series, the Snapdragon 865. It features a revamped image signal processor (ISP), an updated AI engine as well as compatibility with the company's X55 5G modem.
The Snapdragon 865 comes with the performance and power-efficiency improvements you'd typically expect. For example, the new Kryo 585 CPU which the company says is 25 percent faster and more power-efficient, as well as an Adreno 650 GPU that is 20 percent faster at render graphics and 35 percent more power-efficient.
But the real highlights are in camera and gaming improvements. The rearchitected Spectra 480 image signal processor (ISP) can process four times more pixels per clock cycle than its predecessor. This allowed engineers to lower the ISP's clock speed while increasing its performance: It can process 2 gigapixels per second. The lower clock speeds also don't require as much energy to perform the same processes as before, making the Spectra 480 therefore more thermally efficient.
That means your phone can run cooler even as it continues to shoot your high-res video diaries, which will reduce the limits that were previously imposed because devices would run too hot to operate. This means Snapdragon 865 devices can continuously shoot videos with higher frame rates, so much so that Qualcomm said you can capture unlimited high-def video at 960 fps, with the caveat that "unlimited" depends on your device's storage and battery capacity. That's a lot more control than existing phones that record at 960fps, which only allow you to record bursts of about 0.2 seconds at that frame rate. If you want to shoot slowmo in 4K, the Snapdragon 865 can also do that in 240 fps.
With the new ISP, you can also record 8K video or snap 200-megapixel photos, should your phone have the required sensors and hardware for that. The Snapdragon 865 also adds support for HDR video capture in the Dolby Vision standard, which is popular in the film industry.
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