Today for the first day of Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is announcing its usual yearly mini-refresh of its flagship Snapdragon SoC in the form of the new Snapdragon 888+. As in the previous few generations, right around the summer period, Qualcomm is taking advantage of the completed spring device cycle and shifting focus onto newer devices in the second half of the year with, and a new SoC that’s slightly boosts performance.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flagship SoCs 2021

Snapdragon 888+

Snapdragon 888

CPU 1x Cortex-X1
@ 2.995GHz 1x1024KB pL2

3x Cortex-A78
@ 2.42GHz 3x512KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

4MB sL3
1x Cortex-X1
@ 2.84GHz 1x1024KB pL2

3x Cortex-A78
@ 2.42GHz 3x512KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

4MB sL3
GPU Adreno 660 @ 840MHz
DSP / NPU Hexagon 780

(Total CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)
Hexagon 780

(Total CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)
4x 16-bit CH

@ 3200MHz LPDDR5  /  51.2GB/s

3MB system level cache
ISP/Camera Triple 14-bit Spectra 580 ISP

1x 200MP or 84MP with ZSL
64+25MP with ZSL
3x 28MP with ZSL

4K video & 64MP burst capture
8K30 / 4K120 10-bit H.265

Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG

720p960 infinite recording
Integrated Modem X60 integrated

(LTE Category 24/22)
DL = 2500 Mbps
7x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 316 Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)
DL = 7500 Mbps
UL = 3000 Mbps
Mfc. Process Samsung
5nm (5LPE)

The new Snapdragon 888+ is a speed bin of the Snapdragon 888 that we’ve seen earlier in the year. What’s changed in the new unit is that Qualcomm is upgrading the CPU frequencies from the original 2.84GHz to 2.995GHz – a 5.2% performance upgrade. It’s not too much of a major upgrade, and I’m curious to see how it plays out in terms of power consumption as the X1 cores in the 888 were already quite power hungry.

Besides the CPU uplift, the AI engine has also seen a combined performance uplift through frequency bumps as well as software optimisations that increases the AI throughput from 26 TOPS up to 32 TOPS. As a reminder, this is an aggregate figure across all of the SoC’s computational blocks of CPU, GPU, and DSP/NPU.

The one thing that’s not been upgraded this year is the GPU performance, which is a bit unusual for a “+” part as normally in the past few years we’ve also seen frequency increases on this SoC block. Generally, this can be explained through the fact that the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888 is already running at extremely high frequencies and corresponding high-power draw, and most devices today are not able to sustain those peak performance states – further increasing frequencies would have little benefits.

ASUS, HONOR, Vivo and Xiaomi were partner vendors which endorsed the new Snapdragon 888+ and are working on devices featuring the chipset. We should be expecting the first Snapdragon 888+ devices to start being announced in the third quarter.

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  • ChrisGX - Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - link

    That would be unlikely. While repurposed mobile SoCs based on ARM IP might continue to be used in entry level notebooks, viz. in inexpensive and lower performing Windows on ARM PCs and Chromebooks, Qualcomm will be offering NUVIA custom silicon for premium ARM notebooks, ACPCs and Chromebooks.

    That said, it wouldn't shock me to see Samsung using the Snapdragon 888+ on a high end tablet, say - something to replace the aging Snapdragon 8cx is needed as a tide over until NUVIA silicon lands or something else of that ilk comes along.
  • name99 - Monday, June 28, 2021 - link

    And once again QC shows us that it knows nothing about branding.
    The obvious name for this core is NOT 888+, it is 888∞ !

    Goddamnit, QC, get your act together!!!
  • Midioni2 - Monday, June 28, 2021 - link

    The adreno in 888 feels like same gpu with 865 , they just overclock it. You can see same performance figure with 865 when they throttled down to their sustained performance, heck even the 870 can neck to neck with 888. The reason for 888+ with same gpu clock with 888 is clear, they can not overclock it as the gpu in 888 is the same gpu in 865 overclocked with Variable Rate Shading feature which i believe can also be implemented in the 865. In the end the upgrade from 865 to 888 is in the processor , ISP and AI performance
  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - link

    2.995 GHz? You know how hard QC and Samsung must have tried to get to and over the 3 GHz mark, but it just wouldn't happen (:
    On a more serious note, does this also reflect that Samsung's "5 nm" has reached more maturity?
  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - link

    Also, maybe QC thought that Samsung's big Exynos was getting uncomfortably close in performance to the regular 888. And Samsung wants to hang on to their key "5 nm" customer to keep the foundries booked
  • dimacia1 - Friday, October 22, 2021 - link is now available on our website. Enjoy!

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