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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  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I have a question.. and it's serius.
    I own a Lumia 1520 32gb w/ 128gb microSD running Windows 10 Mobile. It has a SnapDragon 800 Chipset. I like it. No complaints. Very fast. Very reliable. Great 4g LTE performance. It's just an incredible smartphone to use. The SnapDragon 810 is faster. So why do you all say it stinks because occasionally it got warm. Did it slow down to subpar SnapDragon 800 performance, or was it that it just didn't perform as well on the Pop website synthetic benchmarks? No, I'm serious. Are phones built on the 810 slower than my Lumia 1520 built on the 800?
  • darth415 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    No the 810 is easily faster than the 800. You also have a Windows Phone which is running a much more efficient and smoother appearing OS than Android, due somewhat to the fact that Microsoft had access to some Apple tech that went into IOS, but mostly because Windows Phone is a much less adaptable OS.

    The issue here is probably mostly power consumption, which is affected by the strain placed on a chip by general tasks ie a more powerful processor doesn't have to do as much work to get the job done. In both raw performance, and power consumption, the Samsung exynos 7420 WALKS on the SD810. Like 50% faster minimum. That is really telling of where Qualcomm should be right now.

    Another thing is that Qualcomm typically has a custom soc that is quite superior to arm's generic chip offerings, and the fact that their top product is entirely based on arm's generic processor cores is a problem.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Yeah, the problem is mostly that the competition (Samsung) is better.. and that OEMs but SD810 in designs with insufficient cooling capability given how hard they push the CPUs. Using aluminum instead of plastic, or dropping the top performance state by 100 MHz under 4-core load might have been enough to stop thermal throttling below SD808 performance.
  • Buk Lau - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    No one is using plastic days, I hope at the very least, to cool smartphones. even aluminum isn't the best, what you really want is all that copper heat spreader
  • V900 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link


    Don't underestimate the "Android tax". Windows Phone (both 7&8) is a newer, much more efficient design, that wasn't plagued with some of the baggage that Android had.

    Things like Dalvik/Java, Android being hard to fine tune for a particular CPU, and Android not really being designed for a cellphone OS in the first place.

    It's also for that reason that both iOS and WP both seem to be fine and snappy on 512MB RAM (or even just 256 MB) while Android needs at least 1024 MB if you want to avoid lag.
  • rstat1 - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    If Android wasn't designed for cellphones, then what was it designed for? Surely not tablets because they weren't a thing back when Android was first being made..
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    I wouldn`t call WP "snappy" on 512MB. Sure, it works well, but there is a noticeable slowdown compared to 1024MB when I`m returning to a background Fictionbook Reader application, for example.
    I wonder how it will be in 10.
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    Again, please explain the "more efficient' claim.
    The Android kernel has included a few nice tricks for memory compaction included deduplication for large pages, memory compression using the clean cache(transcendent memory) mechanism. So, it can on devices with memory as low as windows, and it certainly can do the same amount of work with a given energy budget.
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    With all the cute tricks, it`s still sluggish. I`ve recently installed cyanogen`d 5.1.1 with some additional performance shamanism on OMAP4460, which should be adequate performance-wise as long as you`re not playing games, and interface stuttered all the same.
  • tuxRoller - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Telling me your about your experience with software you installed doesn't say much about the platform. Have you tried installing windows on it:)
    By the way, nice bit of passive aggression. Those "cute tricks" are of what engineering consists. I think the nt kernel may have some of them as well.

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