Qualcomm typically hosts a tech event in December every year, showing off their latest and greatest mobile processors for phones and other devices the next year. That’s still happening this year, and we have a few events to look forward to next month.
Snapdragon 865 improvements
The Snapdragon 865 will replace Qualcomm’s current Snapdragon 855 CPU, and presumably the SD855+, too, although the latter may hang around if it still maintains a lead in GPU performance. We’re expecting to see the newer Snapdragon CPU in the first phones of 2020, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S11.
5G is going to be a huge focus point for devices in 2020, so I think it’s also a safe bet to expect an integrated 5G modem in the SD865, keeping it in line with Huawei’s current Kirin 990 5G chip. Qualcomm’s current solution for 5G uses a separate mobile processor and 5G modem working in tandem, but an integration solution would be much more efficient for future devices.
We’ll also likely see a move towards Cortex-A77 cores, which should give Qualcomm a bit of a performance jump over the competition from Huawei and Samsung.
Snapdragon 8cx and Snapdragon Wear 3300
Aside from the Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm is also set to unveil a revamped Snapdragon 8cx CPU that’s designed specifically for laptops and bigger devices. It’ll likely be a bit faster in the CPU and GPU departments, which laptops obviously need over smartphones. Previously Qualcomm used a modified Snapdragon 850 CPU for this, but building something from the ground up for laptops and making something that works around less strict thermal constraints should make for a better product.
We’ve also seen leaks of the Snapdragon Wear 3300 platform, which will hopefully be powering the next generation of Wear OS smartwatches and wearables. The Snapdragon 3100 has lagged behind the competition, so we’re all very excited to see if Qualcomm can breathe some life back into a stagnating Wear OS market.