Leaked Details Reveal AI Focus for Qualcomm’s Next Flagship Mobile Chip
AI capabilities will take center stage in Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile processor, expected to power top Android smartphones in 2024, according to leaked marketing materials first shared by MSPowerUser. The leaks indicate major boosts to AI performance and creative camera features utilizing AI. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will enable AI-powered video and photo editing tools like object removal, expansion zoom, and fake background generation.
The materials also boast about the accelerated execution of AI models like Stable Diffusion and Meta’s LLaMA. This is thanks to an upgraded Hexagon neural processing unit claimed to be 98% faster than its predecessor. Qualcomm previously showcased the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 running Stable Diffusion earlier this year. But based on the leaks, the company is doubling down on AI as a marquee feature for its next flagship chip.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will likely debut in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24 line, arriving in Q1 2024. It will then power other top Android devices over the course of next year. Google’s Pixel phones are a notable exception, relying on Google’s custom Tensor chip. With AI as a headline capability, the stakes are high for Google to match Qualcomm’s performance to justify ditching Snapdragon. The leak follows previously announced plans by Qualcomm to bring Llama 2 to mobile devices. The idea is to leverage Qualcomm’s chips to enable on-edge processing of the LLM, reducing reliance on cloud connectivity and improving the latency speed of the AI when accessed through smartphones and other consumer electronics beginning next year. Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms already handle a lot of AI data processing on devices, claiming more than 150 billion chips shipped. Ahead of Qualcomm releasing chips optimized for Llama 2, the company is encouraging developers to start optimizing their apps by using Qualcomm’s AI Stack software and hardware.
Beyond AI, the leaks also promise a 30% faster CPU, 25% faster GPU, 240fps gaming support, enhanced ray tracing, and Dolby HDR photo capture. 5G Advanced connectivity is also touted as a selling point. The leak details suggest Qualcomm aims to push mobile AI to the next level and maintain leadership among Android silicon vendors. The leaked tools like video editing and background replacement demonstrate how AI will increasingly blur lines between hardware, software, and services. Qualcomm likely wants the Snapdragon brand to be synonymous with smartphone AI innovation.
With Apple expected to unveil its own neural processing unit for iPhones later this year, AI chip capabilities are seen as a new arms race among mobile powerhouses. If next-generation experiences like seamless conversational AI take hold on phones, chipmakers enabling complex models on devices could build a decisive edge. Qualcomm would want the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to be known as the ticket to premium mobile AI. With hardware playing catch-up to rapid software advances in AI, Qualcomm’s chip integration and optimization skills become critical assets. Its system-level approach combining processing, acceleration, and connectivity might provide a turnkey AI for Android.