Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit: What’s new with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

October 24, 2023 / Max Weinbach

Today at Snapdragon Summit, Qualcomm announced their 2024 flagship mobile chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Below is our thoughts on what is significant and a recap of the main announcements.

What’s Significant:

Gen AI is being a popular marketing term and also a differentiating factor for a lot of consumer and enterprise products right now. Qualcomm is heavily pushing the local Gen AI movement. They announced a new AI Stack for developers to run on their local AI Engine, which will use the GPU, CPU, and CPU simultaneously to run these models. They claim 20 tokens per seconds of performance on the 7B parameter Llama 2 model and Stable Diffusion image generation in under 1 second. While these are both useful benchmarks, it’s unknown how Qualcomm partners are going to use this raw power and AI Engine in first party apps and services. We know the SoC can run these models locally, or hybrid locally, but not how they will provide value to consumers and enterprise.

Qualcomm is using the a new 1+5+2 core setup for the CPU, with 1 ARM Cortex X-4 prime core, 5 ARM Cortex A720 performance cores, and 2 ARM Cortex A520 efficiency cores. This is a pretty classic core setup, and early benchmarks put the single core performance slightly behind Apple’s A17 Pro with multi core performance right on par with A17 Pro. Apple does have a silicon advantage with TSMC’s 3nm node vs the TSMC 4nm node Qualcomm is using for Snapdragon 8G3. We’ll have to see how this performance plays out when devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 start shipping, which will start with the Xiaomi 14 series in China in the coming weeks.

Google also announced that they had models meant for on device AI for their specific apps in the works, likely meaning the local Gen AI features from Pixel 8 series will not be exclusive to Pixel, but will roll out to high end flagship mobile phones in the future.

We’ll have to see how Qualcomm’s AI Stack, AI Engine, and performance stacks up to the competition as devices hit the market. We’re likely to see devices in Mainland China throughout October and November with global devices launching starting in December.

What was announced:

  • New Qualcomm AI Engine supports large transformer models up to 10 billion parameters, enabling advanced on-device natural language processing and generative AI.
  • New Qualcomm AI Stack for developers with over 20 models available at launch through Hugging Face.
  • AI Engine delivers up to 98% faster performance and 40% better efficiency versus previous generation
  • Supports stable diffusion image generation in less than 1 second
  • New Kryo CPU features 1+5+2 configuration with one ultra high-performance core, five high-performance cores, and two efficiency cores
  • Kryo CPU provides up to 32% higher performance versus predecessor
  • New Adreno GPU brings 25% faster graphics rendering and 25% greater power efficiency
  • Adreno GPU supports advanced gaming features like ray tracing, 240Hz displays, up to 240fps gaming
  • Integrated Snapdragon X75 5G modem for cutting-edge connectivity. 10 Gbps downlink, 3.5 Gbps uplink.
  • Overall major performance and efficiency gains across CPU, GPU, AI, camera, gaming, connectivity compared to previous Snapdragon flagship

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