» Current | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | Subscribe

Linley Newsletter

Snapdragon 855 Is a Prime Choice

December 20, 2018

Author: Linley Gwennap

Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 855 brings across-the-board upgrades to the already powerful Snapdragon 845, which appears in nearly all premium Android smartphones released in 2018. The new design introduces what the company calls the “prime core,” a single CPU designed for maximum speed when launching apps and running other demanding tasks. It features a new tensor accelerator that boosts raw AI performance by 3x over the 845’s. Even the audio engine and image processor (ISP) have new AI and vision-processing capabilities.

The 855 integrates the world’s fastest LTE modem, offering a peak data rate of 2.0Gbps. It’s also the only processor that Qualcomm supports for use with its 5G modem chip, the X50. Thus, the 855 will power most initial 5G phones, including from Asus, Fujitsu, HTC, LG, OnePlus, Oppo, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. The initial 855-based products will appear in 1Q19, while the first 5G models are likely to ship around mid-2019.

Although the new chip is Qualcomm’s first built in 7nm technology, it’s the third premium smartphone chip in this node, following Apple’s A12 and Huawei’s Kirin 980. The Snapdragon 855 clearly outperforms the new Kirin in CPU, GPU, AI, and wireless metrics. As usual, Apple poses a tougher challenge, but the 855 reduces the single-core performance gap and could pull ahead on many graphics tasks.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

Subscribe to the Microprocessor Report and always get the full story!

Purchase the full article

Free Newsletter

Linley Newsletter
Analysis of new developments in microprocessors and other semiconductor products
Subscribe to our Newsletter »


Linley Fall Processor Conference 2021
Coming October 20-21, 2021
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Santa Clara, CA
Register Now!
Linley Spring Processor Conference 2021
April 19 - 23, 2021
Proceedings Available
More Events »