01:43PM EST - Here we are on day two of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit, and today is going to be all about Snapdragon 855, the next generation smartphone SoC expected to power a large number of flagship devices in 2019. Follow our live blog for all the details. It starts at 9am HST, 2pm ET, 7pm UTC.

01:57PM EST - Doors just opened and I'm now sat down

01:59PM EST - On the crib sheet today is Snapdragon 855. I've already seen the CPU/GPU/DSP managers on site

02:01PM EST - Keynote for two hours, followed by a one-hour open Q&A

02:02PM EST - We had an interview with Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm, yesterday. He gave some interesting answers to our questions, I'll try and transcribe that this afternoon

02:04PM EST - Outside of the press area yesterday, they had these little Snapdragon 855 paperweights

02:05PM EST - Took the chip out. It looked real? I've been fooled by a Kirin plastic mockup before

02:06PM EST - Part of the keynote will be in Chinese. This is likely Pete Lau from OnePlus' part

02:09PM EST - Still waiting to start

02:13PM EST - Connectivity is going in and out. This might be the delay

02:14PM EST - Connectivity is going in and out. This might be the delay

02:17PM EST - Here we go

02:18PM EST - Alex Katouzian to the stage

02:18PM EST - Still in that t-shirt

02:19PM EST - Recapping the day before

02:20PM EST - Saying 110k views on this year's livestream, vs 20k last year

02:20PM EST - Shoutout to competitors, telling them to take detailed notes

02:20PM EST - A few partner presentations as well today

02:22PM EST - Pete Lau to the stage

02:22PM EST - 5 years of OnePlus, building on excellent reputation

02:23PM EST - First product was OnePlus One, SNapdragon 801, 1.5m users

02:23PM EST - Ever since, we've only had Qualcomm

02:23PM EST - Only company to make flagship android phones

02:24PM EST - Only intend to use 800-series Snapdragon

02:25PM EST - Only intend to use 800-series Snapdragon

02:25PM EST - Our software and hardware have been tweaked to use them

02:26PM EST - Bringing out the full power of Snapdragon

02:26PM EST - S855 was announced yesterday, the most powerful on earth

02:27PM EST - OnePlus flagship in 2019 will be the first S855 device. We will order a lot a chips

02:29PM EST - OnePlus revenue in 2017 doubled

02:29PM EST - OnePlus revenue in 2017 doubled

02:29PM EST - Top 5 worldwide, top 3 in europe

02:30PM EST - Started partnership with T-Mobile this year, launched OnePlus 6T

02:31PM EST - 700 people queued for the device, a record for T-mo, more than for iPhone

02:31PM EST - Global community is our driving force

02:32PM EST - 1m tech enthuisaists from 196 countries

02:32PM EST - young tech fanatics who never settle

02:32PM EST - 57m posts in OnePlus community

02:32PM EST - OnePlus on 5G, ready to embrace. Established first succcessful test in August 2018

02:33PM EST - Oneplus customers are early adopters

02:33PM EST - Oneplus working with EE to bring 5G to the UK

02:33PM EST - Announcing OnePlus will be strategic 5G research partnership with EE in 1H2019, will be first to 5G in Europe

02:33PM EST - Telstra will have 200 5G cells installed by end of year

02:33PM EST - HTC 5G Hub exclusive to Telstra for 1H2019

02:34PM EST - Keith Kressin, SVP Product Management Qualcomm to the stage

02:34PM EST - Talking about Snapdragon 855

02:34PM EST - Recapping Moore's Law

02:34PM EST - Every decade has a new form of wireless connectivity

02:34PM EST - Predicting 6G in a decade

02:35PM EST - 'Amon's Law' - every decade has a new generation of wireless technology

02:36PM EST - Going over 1G, 2G, 3G...

02:37PM EST - 3G was in 1999+

02:38PM EST - 3G saw first 1GHz Mobile SoC, Adreno, and higher resolution displays

02:38PM EST - 4G was in 2009+

02:38PM EST - 4G saw multi-core SoCs, 4K displays, Vulkan graphics, Gigabit LTE

02:39PM EST - Mobile industry took the lead in semiconductor process node

02:40PM EST - Apps flourished - whatsapp, gaming

02:40PM EST - new devices, like VR

02:40PM EST - Now 5G in 2019+

02:41PM EST - 5G will bring >5 Gbps peak, massive IoT, lo latency, AI, Cloud Edge Compute, Voice Assistants

02:41PM EST - The edge of the cloud is moving closer

02:41PM EST - Cameras are more advanced

02:41PM EST - process nodes are starting at 7nm and below

02:42PM EST - New applications to come

02:42PM EST - All enabled through the Snapdragon 855

02:43PM EST - New S855 platform is a step above

02:44PM EST - X24 modem for LTE

02:44PM EST - New Spectra 380 ISP

02:44PM EST - Moves software processing into hardware

02:44PM EST - Adreno 640 graphics

02:44PM EST - Leading perf/watt

02:44PM EST - Major leap in perf in Kryo 485

02:44PM EST - Biggest changes in Hexagon 690

02:44PM EST - Focused on AI

02:45PM EST - Durga Malladi to the stage to talk Connectivity

02:46PM EST - photos aren't uploading properly, sorry

02:46PM EST - The decade of multi-gigabit of wireless connectivity

02:46PM EST - 855 is first 5G mobile platform

02:46PM EST - For mmWave and sub-6 GHz

02:47PM EST - 2 Gbps LTE on X24

02:47PM EST - 7x CA

02:47PM EST - 20 LTE layers

02:47PM EST - Enables 90% of operators achieve multi-gigabit LTE

02:48PM EST - Chip is 7nm, but RF is 14nm

02:48PM EST - Wi-Fi 6 ready

02:48PM EST - 802.11ac

02:48PM EST - 802.11ax

02:49PM EST - 8x8 Sounding, tarket wakeup time, WPA3 security

02:49PM EST - Also 60 GHz Wi-Fi

02:49PM EST - 802.11ay

02:50PM EST - Up to 10 Gbps

02:51PM EST - Rethinking the smartphone arch for 5G

02:53PM EST - Levels of integration

02:53PM EST - Three antennas for 5G

02:54PM EST - enabling 4G/5G as well as mmWave and sub-6

02:54PM EST - (still trying to upload photos)

02:54PM EST - (text seems fine)

02:54PM EST - using QTM052 mmWave antenna modules

02:54PM EST - "What does 5G do for me when LTE does 2 Gbps?"

02:55PM EST - 5G will transform user experiences

02:55PM EST - 8K, downloads, gaming

02:55PM EST - increases the average data rate

02:56PM EST - Changing the network economics

02:56PM EST - Bundling devices into a single data plan

02:57PM EST - Taking cinnectivity for granted

02:57PM EST - connectivity*

02:57PM EST - millisecond latencies

02:59PM EST - Enables wireless tethering for cloud compute

03:01PM EST - 3G to 4G jump seemed big, but was relatively simple.

03:01PM EST - few operators, few vendors, few OEMs

03:01PM EST - For 5G, it's a lot bigger

03:02PM EST - global rollout, 20 oems, 20 operators

03:02PM EST - All 5G built on the 4G network

03:02PM EST - TDD and FDD

03:04PM EST - Travis Lanier to the stage

03:04PM EST - Talking CPU perf

03:05PM EST - People ise 5 year old laptops, people dont use 5yr old phones

03:05PM EST - 5 years changes a lot of app functionality

03:06PM EST - Search bar replaced by voice, now on smartphones

03:06PM EST - Balance of power and performance

03:07PM EST - S855, 7nm, custom-designed cores

03:08PM EST - advanced architecture

03:08PM EST - 45% faster CPU and 20% faster GPU than S845

03:09PM EST - Adreno 640, custom Qualcomm GPU, 20% faster, industry leader in perf/watt, lowest overhead, Vulkan 1.1 support

03:10PM EST - sustained gaming performance vs other 7nm devices

03:10PM EST - best* sustained perf

03:10PM EST - Introcuding Prime Core with CPU

03:11PM EST - Dedicated core with highest clock

03:11PM EST - 2.84 GHz on prime core

03:11PM EST - 3 x 2.42 GHz Perf cores

03:11PM EST - 4 x 1.80 GHz efficiency cores

03:12PM EST - largest perf increase in snapdragon in CPU

03:12PM EST - fastest processor on the apps people care about

03:13PM EST - Hexagon DSP, Powerful combination of DSP and AI

03:14PM EST - Doubled vector extension units in DSP

03:15PM EST - 1.2x scalar perf

03:15PM EST - New tensor accelerator for AI

03:15PM EST - for matrix-mul and non-linear

03:15PM EST - Do a full tensor calcuation rather than splitting into vectors

03:16PM EST - S855 = 45% Kryo CPU perf increase, 20% GPU increase, new Tensor Accelerator

03:16PM EST - Gary Brotman to the stage

03:17PM EST - Talking AI

03:19PM EST - discussing brains

03:19PM EST - (sorry, photo issues again)

03:20PM EST - modelling the chip after the brain: all the cores working together

03:21PM EST - evolving smartphone intelligence

03:21PM EST - Adreno 640 has 50% more FP32 and FP16 ALUs

03:22PM EST - Hexagon supports INT8 and mixed precision. New Tensor accelerator, 4x vector extensions

03:22PM EST - Kryo 485 supports for dot product instructions and FP32/INT8

03:22PM EST - Every core has been optimized for AI

03:22PM EST - Backbone of 4th Gen AI engine

03:23PM EST - More than just simple cores

03:23PM EST - Adding new NN types over weeks and months

03:24PM EST - 7+ TOPS

03:24PM EST - 3x S845 perf in AI, and double the competition

03:26PM EST - Google to the stage to talk about Google Lens and Augmented Reality to use the AI Engine

03:26PM EST - Google Lens helps users understand the world around

03:27PM EST - Lens help when words fail

03:27PM EST - Uses computer vision

03:27PM EST - AI Engine reduces latency, accuracy, scalability

03:27PM EST - enhances accuracy/scalability*

03:28PM EST - First use case was text recognition

03:30PM EST - AR auto complete

03:30PM EST - 1/3 less power for text recognition

03:31PM EST - pre-optimized algorithms from non-google app developers

03:31PM EST - Support for user experiences

03:35PM EST - more demos

03:36PM EST - super resolution of images for better resolution, mukti image processing

03:38PM EST - Use CV to bring clarity to night time pictures. Enabled out of the box

03:40PM EST - key headlines on AI engine: 7+ TOPS, 3x perf over S845

03:40PM EST - an AI powerhouse

03:40PM EST - Now camera and imaging

03:40PM EST - Judd Heape

03:42PM EST - Cameras on smartphones now rival DSLRs, and offer more features

03:44PM EST - Color pipelines with CV and AIE

03:45PM EST - Moving the Computer Vision and computational photography into the hardware ISP.

03:45PM EST - World's first CV based ISP in the Spectra 380

03:45PM EST - Gives extreme speed boost

03:45PM EST - Up to 4x power savings

03:46PM EST - Now that they are in hardware, can do depth sensing at 60 fps

03:46PM EST - First 4K HDR with Portrait mode

03:47PM EST - Can also do real-time object segmentation placement

03:47PM EST - Enabled by the hardware in the CV ISP

03:48PM EST - It means that the AIE can do other things now the CV ISP is in a different part of the hardware

03:48PM EST - Static video manipulation

03:49PM EST - These are targets

03:49PM EST - 2x better power for 6DoF body tracking, 4x object tracking, 4x object detection

03:49PM EST - All of this info needs to be saved

03:49PM EST - Legacy has been under JPEC

03:50PM EST - JPEG

03:50PM EST - good for still images

03:50PM EST - simple metadata

03:50PM EST - But it didn't allow for info about CV, HDR, video

03:50PM EST - So new image format

03:50PM EST - S855 supports HEIF

03:50PM EST - accelerated for encode and decode

03:51PM EST - Most competitors are doing it to reduce file size

03:51PM EST - But it's so much more

03:51PM EST - All S855 devices will be HEIF capable

03:52PM EST - save depth map for post processing, CV data for post processing, burst photos, etc

03:52PM EST - Can put photo + video in same container

03:53PM EST - second gen 4K HDR capture

03:54PM EST - One OEM will bring HDR10+ to market in 2019

03:55PM EST - Also power savings in 4K video

03:55PM EST - Qualcomm is obsessed with power

03:56PM EST - 4K60 HDR in Portrait, and 3x lower power than 4K30 on Snapdragon 800

03:56PM EST - 30% lower power than S845

03:56PM EST - (no mention of process node...)

03:57PM EST - Now XR on Snapdragon

03:57PM EST - Phones are the defacto entertainment device

03:59PM EST - $140b overall gaming industry, mobile is 51% of it

04:00PM EST - Snapdragon 845, four partners with gaming platforms

04:00PM EST - 160+ designs on S845

04:01PM EST - 586 million mobile gamers in China today

04:02PM EST - Making leaps in gaming with Snapdragon

04:02PM EST - Leilani DeLeon, Director Mobile Gaming and XR Product

04:03PM EST - Games bring joy

04:03PM EST - Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming

04:04PM EST - As a gamer you want a competitive edge and play longer

04:04PM EST - Also, win

04:04PM EST - You will win with S855

04:04PM EST - Adreno 640 is a powerhouse

04:04PM EST - Support for Vulkan 1.1

04:04PM EST - 20% lower power than OpenGL ES

04:05PM EST - Physically Based Rendering

04:05PM EST - >PBR gives 20% performance increase?

04:06PM EST - Most games today are in SDR

04:06PM EST - S855 supports true HDR gaming due to rendering pipeline and display

04:06PM EST - 10-bit color depth, Rec 2020

04:06PM EST - Cinematic post processing

04:07PM EST - Better bandwidth compression and shader processing

04:07PM EST - Game Jank Reducer

04:07PM EST - Game Anti-Cheat Extensions

04:07PM EST - Game Q-Sync

04:09PM EST - During peak internet hours, half of all internet traffic goes to Netflix and YouTube

04:11PM EST - Cinema Experience Advanced Movie Features

04:11PM EST - HDR10+, Dolby Vision

04:11PM EST - Super Smooth 120 fos viewing (frame interpolation)

04:11PM EST - Ultrasharp XR Video in 8K 360

04:12PM EST - Qualcomm aptX adaptive

04:12PM EST - Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus

04:13PM EST - Hardware accelerated H.265 and VP9

04:14PM EST - 7x power savings in Youtube VP9 playback

04:14PM EST - Defining the next era of entertainment

04:16PM EST - Explaining standalone XR

04:16PM EST - Transforming the environment for a fluid experience due to 4th Gen AIE

04:18PM EST - (somehow the last few images are lost in the ether, sorry)

04:18PM EST - Using 5G and Camera to stream livestream event to someone's VR headset

04:18PM EST - Interactive live event 360-degree streaming

04:20PM EST - video for NextVR

04:20PM EST - world's largest broadcaster of VR content

04:21PM EST - Maps the venue in 3D

04:21PM EST - Realism is critical to presence

04:22PM EST - Requires resolution and bandwidth

04:22PM EST - (and latency, surely)

04:22PM EST - Currently 8 Mbps on 4G

04:22PM EST - 5G allows 100 Mbps

04:22PM EST - minimum

04:23PM EST - 5G allows for higher resolution

04:24PM EST - Freedom for 6 degrees of freedom

04:24PM EST - Augmented Reality: sports on the table

04:25PM EST - Volumetric display pipeline

04:25PM EST - Also contextual immersion

04:28PM EST - Now the summary

04:28PM EST - Leading perf/watt graphics

04:28PM EST - 3D Sonic Sensor

04:28PM EST - Most AI processing

04:28PM EST - 4th Gen AI Engine, software and libraries are ready

04:28PM EST - 45% faster Kryo

04:29PM EST - CV-ISP moved to hardware

04:29PM EST - HDR10+ and 4K HDR video with Portrait

04:29PM EST - HEIF Capture

04:29PM EST - Vulkan 1.1 and PBR

04:30PM EST - True HDR Gaming

04:30PM EST - Expect equal or greater success with 855

04:33PM EST - Q&A Time

04:38PM EST - Q ) Can X50 can be implemented with 855 ? A) It's a pairing.

04:39PM EST - Q ) Tensor is part of DSP rather than discrete NPU - why? A) Positioned as part of the hexagon family, but it's a dedicated core.

04:39PM EST - Q) Justification for the Prime Core - even though the clock speeds are perf are lower than S845, there's still a perf increase. A: Perf increase is mostly IPC. Prime core is a balance between pwoer and efficiency

04:39PM EST - Q) Any update about Quick Charge? A) Continue to support QC4+.

04:40PM EST - Q) What's next for computational photography? A) Trend is more cameras and more resolution. Handle cameras and depth cameras. Hardware is coming to support Time-of-flight. Our platform is scalable.

04:42PM EST - Q) Can the Tensor Core work on different data to the vector cores simultaneously? A) Yes

04:42PM EST - Q) Is the Prime core on a seperate power plane to the Performance cores? A) No - different frequency, same power plane.

04:45PM EST - Q) 5G of X50+S855 - standalone modems? A) Yes we have interests. No announcements today. X50 is the first member of a family. Some of which will be Standalone. Qualcomm will be ready.

04:52PM EST - Q) As an OEM, I have the option to not have the X50. If I do choose the X50, what's the impact on power. A) Remember 4G is better today than the launch of 4G. With simultaneous 4G and 5G, there are large number of ways that data are processed, depends on the mode operation. Can separate contorl traffic and data traffic. Expect power consumption will be tested as we head to commercialisation. But the starting point with 5G is better than 4G.

04:53PM EST - Q) How is the ISP being formed as we move to more cameras? A) Future devices will support more and more concurrent. There's a different between connectivity and concurrency. No ISP can support 3+ cameras at once, and tricks are used to support more than 3. But hardware is coming.

04:56PM EST - Q) With the CPU cores, can they powered up indivudally? Yes

04:57PM EST - Q) When you save 7TOPs, which kind of OPs? 8-bit INT Tensor Operations

05:01PM EST - Q) QC said that phones will have multiple front ends, how is power managed? A) Not really multiple front ends. Just multiple antennas. In the end all these radios, they all go through the same sub-systems. Some parts might be powered down if they're not needed for particular radios, but everything is optimized for power. We offer a turnkey solution.

05:02PM EST - That's a wrap. Time for lunch, then some demos

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  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    Half an hour left. The 855 will be a bit better than Kirin 980, with a triple core cluster, 4 low power cores based on A55, 3 performance cores based on A76 at 2.4 Ghz and one high performance core based on A76 at 2.84Ghz. GPU will be called Adreno 640, ~10-20% better performance. What is unknown is the efficiency. Reply
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    So it seems that I was right. I think that 5g will be nice, but in 5 years, not now. For now, my Exynos 8890 powered Galaxy S7 can do everything that this new chip can do. I have 600 Mbps, it can do 8k easily. It has enough could horsepower to run anything at fast speeds and feels snappy. It gets 170k in AnTuTu which is half of what the sd855 gets which in my book is more than good enough.
    My previous phone until this year was a z3 compact. It had a sd801, a 32 bit chip with a third of the score of the Exynos 8890 in AnTuTu, about 60k. Not surprising at all is the fact that it was good enough for basically anything you could throw at it. Games, check. Web browsing, YouTube, Facebook, you name it, everything ran great on it given it has only 2 GB of RAM and only 4 cores. It also had amazing battery life, better than most sd845 phones get. So yeah, progress is good but it is not like you can't do something on an older device.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    How do the CPU and GPU compare to the A12 (assuming Qualcomm’s claims are accurate)? Obviously QC is pushing 5G and AI. Reply
  • cfenton - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    In a few spots (AI and sustained gaming) they've mentioned how they beat the competition. Does that mean the Android competition, like Kirin and Exynos, or the A12? Only one of those would be impressive. Reply
  • porcupineLTD - Wednesday, December 05, 2018 - link

    In the GPU graph the throttling one is the A12 and the constant one (but lower perf than the SD855) is Kirin 980. Reply

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