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Wait For It, Smartphones In 2016 Are Going To Be Super Fast

It took a while but finally there is some movement in the world of Android when it comes to core hardware inside a phone. Both Qualcomm, which supplies processors for almost all high-end Android phones, and Samsung, which makes its own mobile chips for the high-end Galaxy phones, are ready with the next generation processor.

And on paper, the next generation Snapdragon and Exynos look mighty powerful, promising consumers desktop class performance in an Android phone.

After detailing the Snapdragon 820 bit-by-bit in the last few months, Qualcomm has now revealed more details about its top mobile processors, which is expected to power the high-end Android phones in 2016.

In a change from its earlier stance when Qualcomm decided to pursue the core wars, and was possibly under pressure from Apple’s 64-bit A series processor, the company is now going with custom cores in Snapdragon 820. In contrast, the Snapdragon 810 used the ARM’s off the shelf cores.

The result wasn’t pretty. The eight cores inside the Snapdragon 810 probably made it run hotter than expected, resulting in phones that were hot enough to be almost unusable in some cases.

But with the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm is going back to custom cores. Apple too uses custom cores in its iPhones. Qualcomm is also reducing the number of cores in the processor. “The core wars are over. We no longer care for the numbers of cores inside the processor,” a senior Qualcomm executive told IndiaToday.In a few months ago at the company’s Asian Forum in Hong Kong. Instead, the company is now focussing on the performance of these cores.

The Snapdragon 820 will have two cores running at 2.2GHz. In single thread performance, which is very important and where Apple’s iPhone is the king due to Apple’s custom designed cores, the speed bump alone gives the Snapdragon 20 per cent performance boost over the Snapdragon 810, which runs its cores at a maximum speed of 2GHz. But then Snapdragon 820 also comes with other improvements.

Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 820 is two times more powerful than the Snapdragon 810. Also it is 30 per cent more power efficient, which means less heat and better battery life. The Snapdragon 820 comes with Adreno 530 graphics chip that, according to Qualcomm, will offer 40 per cent better performance in games.

Samsung, which until now has used off-the-shelf ARM cores in its Exynos processors, too is now following Apple and Qualcomm. On Thursday the company announced Exynos 8890, which will power the next year’s Galaxy S7 and new Note series phones. However, unlike Qualcomm and Apple, Samsung is not giving up on the cores.

The Exynos 8890 will come with 8 cores. Samsung is saying that the Exynos 8890 will offer 30 per cent improvement in performance and 10 per cent in power efficiency compared to the Exynos 7 Octa. It will use Mali T880 graphics processor.

While the leap for the Exynos 8890 seems somewhat lower than what Qualcomm is getting with the Snapdragon 820 it is worth noting that the Exynos 7420 used in the Galaxy S6 and the Note 5 is already the fastest mobile processor in the world of Android.

“The Exynos 8 Octa is a leading edge application processor for next generation mobile devices that incorporates Samsung’s mobile technology leadership in CPU, ISP, and modem as well as process technology,” said Dr Kyushik Hong, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics.

“With our custom designed CPU cores and the industry’s most advanced LTE modem, consumers using mobile devices with the Exynos 8 Octa will experience a new level of mobile computing.”

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