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Gamers Welcome Snapdragon 865+

August 18, 2020

Author: Aakash Jani

The Snapdragon 865+ is a midyear refresh of Qual­comm’s premium-smartphone SoC, boosting CPU speed, GPU speed, and wireless technology compared with the Snapdragon 865. Excluding these improvements, however, the new product is identical to its predecessor. Even with these minute changes, the new chip repositions Qualcomm in the premium-smartphone market. The 865+ is already shipping in the Asus ROG Phone 3 and will power the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, both of which are gaming phones. Additionally, Samsung recently announced the new Snapdragon would appear in the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, along with other phones.

Relative to its predecessor, the 865+ increases the performance of its Cortex-A77 prime core by 11%. This boost comes from raising the clock speed by 9% from the 865’s 2.84GHz, making the 865+ the first mobile processor to break 3GHz. The new chip is still manufactured in TSMC’s N7 (7nm) technology, meaning the faster speed is due to higher yields. In addition, Qualcomm also increased the speed of the Adreno 650 GPU by 12%. Like the CPU, the GPU achieved that feat through higher yield.

The Snapdragon 865+ raises the clock speed for both the GPU and Cortex-A77 prime CPU to further differentiate itself in the premium-smartphone market. Year over year, smartphone market share has stagnated because the internal hardware is increasingly unchanged, but the upgrades in the 865+ will allow Qualcomm to gain market share. The design boosts performance while maintaining the same die size as its predecessor. As a result, the company can price it similarly while further distancing itself from competitors around the globe.

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