Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 888: All the details you need to know

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform will offer advances in 5G, artificial intelligence, gaming, image processing and more.

Qualcomm announced the latest Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform during the keynote presentation of its annual tech summit on Monday. Beyond the normal performance boosts expected in a new Snapdragon 8 series mobile chip, the 888 is designed to offer advances in 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence , gaming, and image processing.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform

Image: Qualcomm Technologies

The Snapdragon 888 uses a 5nm fabrication process technology and has a Qualcomm Kryo 680 CPU that is based on the Arm Cortex-X1 and allows for clock frequencies up to 2.84GHz. The company said the new CPU can deliver up to a "25% uplift in overall CPU performance." The new chip also has a Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU that the company said can deliver 35% faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation.

The Snapdragon 888 also features a 3rd generation Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF system, a new 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, 3rd generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming system, and Qualcomm Spectra ISP image signal processor.

SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

During the keynote event, Qualcomm demonstrated the Snapdragon 888 by using it to control RC model race cars over a private 5G network, which was built with help from Verizon and Ericsson. From over a mile away, drivers controlled a pair of cars and watched real-time video from the track using a 5G mmWave connection.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 keynote 5G race car demo

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform being used to control an RC race car during keynote demonstration at the Snapdragon Tech Summit Digital 2020.

Image: Qualcomm Technologies

The Snapdragon 888 will likely be the last of many chips Qualcomm has launched in 2020. In September, the company announced the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G chip that is aimed at "Always On, Always Connected" laptops. In July, they launched the Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G Mobile Platform--a beefed up version of the Snapdragon 865 smartphone chip. And in June, they announced the Snapdragon 690, which is designed for mid-tier 5G smartphones.

Qualcomm said devices based on the the Snapdragon 888 should be available during the first quarter of 2021.

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By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...