Today, Qualcomm announced a number of details in the Snapdragon 820, specifically about their Kryo CPU. Given that the Snapdragon 810 was a somewhat standard 4x Cortex-A57/4x Cortex-A53, it was clear that that this chip was a stop-gap for a future fully custom design. With the Snapdragon 820 announcement, the first major bit of information that we received was that this would be a return to a custom CPU core design, and today Qualcomm is finally unveiling a bit more information on Kryo.

The two main spec details that are being disclosed today is that the quad-core Kryo CPU in Snapdragon 820 will reach up to 2.2 GHz, and that the SoC will be manufactured on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process. It isn’t stated whether this is the 14LPP process, which will give up to 10% transistor performance improvement over 14LPE which was seen in chips like the Exynos 7420, but it’s a safe bet that it is. As a result of the new architecture and new process node, Qualcomm is claiming up to a 2x increase in performance and up to a 2x increase in power efficiency compared to Snapdragon 810.

The final part of this announcement is Symphony System Manager, which is said to be designed to deal with heterogeneous compute in an efficient manner. This is likely to be a kernel-level mechanism that ensures that the SoC is well-optimized for use in a smartphone or any other application. Given the focus on heterogeneous compute for this launch, I wonder if Qualcomm is going for some form of heterogeneous CPU design as well.

Source: Qualcomm

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  • Frenetic Pony - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Who cares, Nvidia's SOCs have been shit for years now. Sure Qualcomm's late, and dropped Samsung and other valuable clients this year because the 810 sucked. But assuming the 100% increase in efficiency/power is correct they'll pick up all their contracts again next year, as that beats the hell out of Samsung's custom cores and the Cortex A72.
  • wintermute000 - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    why exactly do Nvidia's chipsets invariably lag/stutter in normal operation, even if they bench and/or game well?
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Sounds like a software issue.
  • jakeuten - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Ever used a Nexus 9?
  • MartinT - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Well, for Denver you can always blame their on-the-fly translation business, which conceptually will always bench better than it runs "real world" day-to-day.
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    "as that beats the hell out of Samsung's custom cores"

    How do you know that when neither are out on a device? There have been rumors of quite the opposite actually. Anyway, Qualcomm is comparing the 820 with a chip that sucked big time. Not the best comparison you know...
  • 0razor1 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Dude, ' that beats the hell out of Samsung's custom cores ..'
    Samsung *what* cores ?
  • Wolfpup - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Huh? They've always been good for when they're launched. I've never been impressed by anything Qualcomm's done. They're "okay" generic phone CPUs, but nothing exciting.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    And for that matter, I continue to be massively underwhelmed by their supposedly-better-than-ARM CPU designs that are never as good as ARM.
  • Buk Lau - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Nvidia is unlikely to go back to smartphones soon, what you should really be expecting is the MediaTek X20 and HiSi Kirin 950 for higher end chipsets. Intel still has nothing to offer for top tiered SoCs yet, which may change soon in 2016

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