Qualcomm breathes new life into Snapdragon for AI, AR, video functionality


Qualcomm has launched its latest Snapdragon mobile platform promising it will power the likes of augmented reality, on device artificial intelligence and "vault-like security".

The Snapdragon 845 has also placed video at the heart of its features, with the chipset maker claiming it will be compatible with Ultra-HD Premium video and deliver a higher quality range of colours than previous smartphones.

The platform also reduces power consumption, increases visual quality and application performance of VR and AR apps, Qualcomm said.

Its AI functionality is three times better than Qualcomm's previous generation of products. It said this could help users take better quality pictures and videos, improve voice activated digital assistants and enhance the quality of VR gaming.

The chipset maker, which has recently rejected a takeover bid from Broadcom and been embroiled in patent disagreements with Apple throughout 2017, announced it was working with Baidu to optimise the Chinese internet search provider's DuerOS conversational AI system for smartphones running the new platform.

It is also partnering with Chinese gaming company NetEase to optimise its game engine for smartphones.

For the first time, the Snapdragon 845 includes a "secure processing unit", which Qualcomm said was a digital vault offering improved biometric security authentication and data key management to encrypt data.

The platform is also Gigabit LTE compatible, supporting Category 18 LTE, which can aggregate up to five carriers, offer licence assisted access, VoLTE and 4x4 MIMO on up to three aggregated carriers. Smartphones using the platform could offer speeds of up to 1.2GBps.

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It also supports 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi, which can offer speeds of up to 4.6GBps, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which claims to offer up to 16 times quicker connection set-up and greater capacity utilisation across carrier-grade networks.

The first devices using the Snapdragon 845 platform are expected to hit the market early next year.

Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile at Qualcomm, said: “As leaders in mobile technology, we will transform the mobile experience with comprehensive advancements in visual processing, AI, security and connectivity.

“The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is the next horizon of innovation and is going to transform the way people use their mobile devices to make their lives better."