Qualcomm obviously wants everybody take notice of its Snapdragon 820 processor. Less than a week ago, it highlighted the fact that its new chip has a feature called Smart Protect, a functionality that allows owners of any smartphone that uses the Snapdragon 820 chip to track apps that are behaving suspiciously.
This time around, the American chip maker has revealed that the Kryo central processing unit (CPU) being used as the core of the Snapdragon 820 chip is actually up to two times as power efficient as the processor’s predecessor model, the Snapdragon 810. This is even more amazing when you consider that it manages to save more power by actually not compromising processing speed -- the Snapdragon 820 processor is up to two times faster than the previous model. To be clear about it, it does not necessarily equate to two times the battery life, but it does translate to incredibly better processing power and overall performance without taking too much toll on one’s smartphone battery life.
This innovative development from Qualcomm is partly due to the processor’s clever use of the 14 nanometer FinFET manufacturing (which delivers optimum energy saving capabilities), and a truly customized 64 bit CPU in the Kryo unit. But what does the heavy lifting is the Snapdragon 820 chip’s taking advantage of heterogenous computing. In this process, the chip actually does not need to depend solely on its main process (as is true in previous Snapdragon processor models). Instead, the chip can call on the assistance of the graphics core (i.e. the Adreno 530), the digital signal processor (i.e. the Hexagon 680), and the imaging processor (i.e. Spectra). Depending on the specific situation, the chip can ask help from these other parts and combine their collective processing capabilities in order to achieve a sum performance that is definitely more than its processing parts can deliver individually.
Most mobile users typically take for granted what their smartphones can do. Few realize that a simple thing as taking selfies actually involves a lot of processing. But with the way the Snapdragon 820 chip juggles responsibilities and manages contributions from various different components, it can get the job done more quickly, and more importantly in the long run, more power efficiently. Basically, it all comes down to how good the Snapdragon 820 is at multitasking -- running multiple individual processors here and there in short bursts of activity and then cleverly shutting down those that are not being used for a given task. The result, of course, is better overall performance and better energy management.
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