Qualcomm bets big on AI with new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
At an event on Tuesday, Qualcomm is poised to announce its next flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and leaked details reveal major upgrades focused on artificial intelligence capabilities.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip will likely power leading Android smartphones in 2024, starting with Samsung’s Galaxy S24 line expected in Q1. While Qualcomm’s chips are in most high-end Androids, Google relies on its own Tensor processors for Pixel phones. This puts pressure on Google to keep pace with Qualcomm’s AI developments, as a key advantage of developing its own chip is the ability to customize for AI.
According to marketing materials leaked to MSPoweruser, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will enable advanced AI-powered camera features like object removal in videos, expanding parts of photos, and generating synthetic backgrounds. Object removal uses segmentation algorithms to identify and erase objects from video footage. Expanding parts of photos digitally zooms in on image areas while preserving detail through generative modeling. Synthetic backgrounds completely replace backgrounds using generative adversarial networks.
Supposedly 98% faster than its predecessor!
The upgraded Hexagon neural processing unit is supposedly 98% faster than its predecessor, allowing the chip to run popular AI models like Stable Diffusion quickly and efficiently. Stable Diffusion uses text-to-image diffusion models to generate realistic images. Faster AI execution expands the possibilities for on-device intelligence.
This focus on AI represents a strategic shift for Qualcomm after the breakthroughs in generative AI last year. Generative adversarial networks, diffusion models, and transformers led to exponential progress in AI-synthesized content. The company previously demonstrated the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip running Stable Diffusion in February, but the Gen 3 makes AI execution and new use cases an explicit priority.
Beyond AI, the Gen 3 delivers sizable upgrades across the board. Qualcomm claims the chip has a 30% faster CPU, 25% faster GPU, support for 240fps gaming, enhanced ray tracing, and advanced night vision video. It also boasts 5G Advanced compatibility for improving real-world speeds. These specs target performance, graphics, and connectivity — key areas for mobile power users.
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