Google Android: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Pre-Dive: Going Into Detail on 2019’s Flagship Android SoC

Google Android:

Following this present day’s early-on protection of the Day 2 protection of Qualcomm’s Tech Summit match in Maui, Hawaii, we recap the main myth of the day: The new Snapdragon 855 platform. The new platform follows this twelve months’s extremely a success Snapdragon 845 SoC, which we saw energy pretty unparalleled the overwhelming majority of 2018’s flagship devices.

Qualcomm isn’t standing calm, and the Snapdragon 855 represents a brand new generation, bringing a refresh of the SoC IPs as neatly a cost new 7nm manufacturing project. Let’s dwell extra into this present day’s principal aspects and analyse how the new SoC platform will raise the bar for 2019.

The Finer Details

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flagship SoCs 2018-2019
SoC Snapdragon 855 Snapdragon 845
CPU 1x Kryo 485 Gold (A76 derivative)

@ 2.84GHz 1x512KB pL2
3x Kryo 485 Gold (A76 derivative)

@ 2.42GHz 3x256KB pL2

4x Kryo 485 Silver (A55 derivative)

@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

2MB sL3

4x Kryo 385 Gold (A75 derivative)

@ 2.8GHz 4x256KB pL2

4x Kryo 385 Silver (A55 derivative)

@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

2MB sL3

GPU Adreno 640 @ ?MHz Adreno 630 @ 710MHz
Memory 4x 16-bit CH @ 2133MHz

LPDDR4x34.1GB/s3MB system level cache

4x 16-bit CH @ 1866MHz



3MB system level cache

ISP/Camera Twin 14-bit Spectra 380 ISP

1x 48MP or 2x 22MP
Twin 14-bit Spectra 280 ISP

1x 32MP or 2x 16MP

2160p60 10-bit H.265

HDR10, HDR10+, HLG

2160p60 10-bit H.265

Constructed-in Modem Snapdragon X24 LTE

(Class 20)

DL = 2000Mbps

7x20MHz CA, 256-QAM, 4×4

UL = 316Mbps

3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

Snapdragon X20 LTE

(Class 18/Thirteen)

DL = 1200Mbps

5x20MHz CA, 256-QAM, 4×4

UL = 150Mbps

2x20MHz CA, sixty four-QAM

Mfc. Process 7nm (N7) 10nm LPP

At the coronary heart of the new Snapdragon 855 lies Arm’s new Cortex-A76 CPUs: We’ve lined the new microarchitecture widely this twelve months as we dove into the technical tidbits of the CPU in May perchance neutral, and additional recently possess been in a position to deep dive test the performance and energy efficiency of the new IP interior HiSilicon’s new Kirin 980. The combo of the new Cortex-A76 with the new 7nm manufacturing node made for excellent leaps in performance and energy efficiency, something that bodes very neatly for the new Snapdragon 855.

Qualcomm’s take hold of on imposing the new Cortex-A76 cores is terribly a chunk of assorted than what we’ve viewed from HiSilicon. Overall there’s calm four Cortex A76 derived cores (Kryo 485 Gold as Qualcomm markets them), alongside four Cortex-A55 derived CPUs. The diversities right here lie within the frequencies, the gruesome cache configurations, besides to obvious adjustments in some microarchitectural tuneables.

Google Android:

Curiously, for the first time since Qualcomm has adopted Arm’s “Constructed on Cortex Skills” license and with the zero.33 iteration of its implementation, Qualcomm has eventually released principal aspects on the roughly adjustments which possess been commissioned to Arm in phrases of adjustments to the IP. Right here Qualcomm reveals that the Cortex-A76 variation within the Snapdragon 855 permits for an even bigger out-of-stutter execution window, in all likelihood referring to an raise within the scale of the reorder buffer. The stock A76 has a 128 instruction buffer, whereas Qualcomm’s modified A76 has been increased to an undisclosed size.

Alongside what appears the ROB raise, Qualcomm has also revealed that the records prefetchers possess been optimised for greater efficiency. It’s no longer certain if the “efficiency” right here refers to energy efficiency or the efficiency within the formula records is prefetched, nor are the disclosures right here what precisely has adjustments, whether or no longer there’s roughly prefetch streams or if there’s been adjustments within the varied forms of prefetchers.

While HiSilicon opted for a 2+2 fetch, the attach one pair of A76’s were optimised for excessive frequencies and the 2nd pair were optimised for increased energy efficiency, Qualcomm opted to trot along with a 1+three configuration.

Google Android:

The absolute top performance core, “Kryo 485 Gold High” as Qualcomm calls it, is clocked in at 2.84GHz – inserting it on its like clock enviornment – and is interestingly configured with a 512KB L2 cache. The numerous three cores are clocked at 2.42GHz and relief smaller 256KB L2 caches. This configuration is terribly abnormal – you also would keep a matter to Qualcomm to take hold of succesful thing about the new DynamIQ cluster fetch, which is in a position to fortify varied frequency and voltage planes, on the assorted hand things fetch even odder. The high core in actuality doesn’t possess its like voltage plane, and thus it has to share its voltage plane with the varied three large cores.

This revelation of the high core no longer having its like energy enviornment is terribly obliging and it invalidates many of the advantages of in actuality having a separate clock plane for a core. In attain the valid-world profit right here isn’t any varied than simply clock-gating the core.

It is suited that there’s a huge quantity of eventualities the attach there’s predominantly a single greater thread active, right here’s particularly suited in web hunting workloads. This form of 1+three configuration would enact greater performance and which that that you might imagine greater efficiency than a 2+2 configuration, but because the cores aren’t running on separate voltage planes it skill the categorical advantages right here in valid-world purposes are suited going to be quite minor. The on-line result is that the setup is leaving a range of energy efficiency on the desk: the voltage equipped to both core groups is repeatedly going to be the increased of no topic is being asked for, although one of many 2 groups might seemingly well seemingly characteristic on (unparalleled) much less voltage.

Qualcomm’s 2.84GHz clock is 9.2% increased than HiSilicon 2.6GHz frequency. A large ask right here is suited how a ways Qualcomm has driven the core up on the energy curve – I am attempting forward to it to be much less ambiance suitable than the Kirin 980 by some margin, how large that margin shall be is something we obtained’t take a look at till we fetch our hands on commercial devices.

Most interestingly for this present day’s presentation is that Qualcomm hadn’t made a single concrete mention about CPU energy efficiency of the Snapdragon 855, and I’m no longer certain if this implies there’s no improvements or rather suited downplaying this part of the SoC given the varied principal adjustments.

Lastly, I lift out gain it abnormal that Qualcomm went for smaller L2 caches on the final three excessive performance cores. I calm keep a matter to these to whole up increased performance than HiSilicon’s 1.92GHz A76 objects with 512KB L2’s – on the assorted hand it’s on the assorted hand attention-grabbing to undercover agent both corporations are attempting to enact the identical map in varied ways.

Transferring on, we take a look at the four Cortex-A55 derived efficiency cores, which might seemingly well seemingly be running at 1.8GHz and matched with 128KB L2 caches. On this regard, it seems the Snapdragon 855 doesn’t fluctuate from the Snapdragon 845. Right here the company has seemingly keep all of the project node advantages into bettering energy efficiency of the small cores.

The DynamiQ Shared Unit’s L3 cache must always are accessible at 4MB – which might seemingly well seemingly be a doubling over the 2MB configuration on the Snapdragon 845. It’s to be illustrious that we haven’t but entirely confirmed the cache configurations on the time of writing, but I’m strongly leaning in direction of these figures to be suited.  We’ve by now confirmed that the L3 cache has remained at 2MB – right here’s quite conservative on Qualcomm’s share and there shall be an IPC influence in comparison with the Kirin 980’s 4MB implementation.

Google Android:

By formula of performance, all that Qualcomm publishes is a claim of as much as a forty five% performance raise over the Snapdragon 845. As with closing twelve months, it’s a chunk of of a mystery precisely what this figure represents, however the volume pretty unparalleled falls in line precisely the attach the Kirin 980 performs with regards to the Snapdragon 845 in SPEC2006. The huge ask for the S855 is how the new generation system level cache will behave in phrases of memory latency, as this might occasionally seemingly seemingly well seemingly be among the many biggest aspects differentiating Qualcomm’s new SoC from its Kirin competition.

Google Android:

One other attention-grabbing performance comparability that modified into as soon as printed this present day is a showcase of performance figures between the Snapdragon 855, Apple A12, and the Kirin 980 in phrases of app launch times. Though Qualcomm doesn’t straight title their competitors, competitors A and B must always be the Apple A12 and the Kirin 980 respectively, assuming Qualcomm’s color map is also consistent all over the GPU comparisons. For me it’s no longer to obliging to undercover agent the Snpadragon 855 influence this neatly – one thing I did designate in my Huawei Mate 20 review is that the Pixel three and OnePlus three calm felt sooner in phrases of application launch times. Though this might occasionally seemingly seemingly well seemingly all suited be a side-attain of the scheduler and framework of the Snapdragon chipset aside from the raw CPU performance of the hardware. Pointless to claim, application calm issues immensely and over the closing two years Qualcomm has demonstrated absolute leadership in phrases of milking out responsiveness and reactivity out of the hardware by its application designs.

Adreno 640 GPU – Iterative Aspects and Performance

The Adreno 640 graphics block frequently is the level of hobby for Qualcomm’s gaming efforts. The company went to great lengths to ingredient how they felt cellular gaming is on the upward push, while varied platforms for video video games are either stagnating or in decline.

Google Android:

By formula of technical specifications, as is former with Qualcomm, we didn’t take a look at unparalleled within the formula of detailed disclosures on the new GPU. What we did fetch are extra conservative figures, much like a 20% raise in performance. This raise is terribly diminutive in comparison with what we tend to customarily take a look at, particularly given the incontrovertible fact that the Snapdragon 855 is in a position to take hold of succesful thing about a principal project node transition.

Google Android:

The Snapdragon 845’s GPU modified into as soon as already the smallest among flagship cellular SoCs at a mere 10.69mm², so unless Qualcomm has vastly increased the choice of processing aspects within the route of the GPU cores, this generation must always be even smaller. Within the intervening time within the match presentation there modified into as soon as one right titbit about the GPU; Qualcomm is announcing that they’ve increased the choice of ALUs for FP32 and FP16 operations by 50%. If my earlier estimates about the Adreno 630 were suited, then this would imply the new Adreno 640 sports actions 384 ALUs per core for a whole of 768 ALUs. This ALU raise doesn’t match up with the claimed performance raise, so it’s which that that you might imagine Qualcomm is running the GPU at a lower frequency, or the performance claims were made in regards to seemingly much less ALU sensitive workloads.

Google Android:

Qualcomm confirmed a side-by-side comparability between the Snapdragon 845 and the new 855 running PUBG on a cycled script at 40fps. The new chipset modified into as soon as in a position to showcase a 28% reduction in energy on this same workload. It’s to be illustrious we don’t in actuality know precisely what level on the energy curve this dimension is done, so it’s repeatedly a chunk of of a mystery in phrases of hiss energy comparisons must always you lift out the attempting out at distinct capped performance states.

While the performance positive aspects remain a chunk of vague at time of writing, Qualcomm did declare a lot in phrases of most modern graphical aspects. Right here we saw claims that the Adreno 640 graphics within the S855 will enable suited HDR gaming, as neatly video games built around Physically Essentially based mostly Rendering. The graphics pipeline will fortify 10-bit coloration depth and the Rec 2020 gamut to enable HDR, besides to enabling S855 devices to fortify the HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient codecs, which QC states is an global’s first. With the Adreno 640, along with the showcase IP, devices can fortify 120fps gaming besides to serene 8K 360-stage video playback (resolving a principal grievance about Snapdragon-energy). Honest don’t keep a ask to how unparalleled field these 8K 360-stage movies take hold of in.

Google Android:

Qualcomm’s fortify for Physically Essentially based mostly Rendering in graphics is a attention-grabbing topic, one we’ll trot into ingredient in a varied article, however the theorem that’s no longer new. In actuality we’re a chunk of enormously surprised to undercover agent it talked about within the identical breath as right hardware adjustments, since conceptually it must no longer require any new hardware; PBR is suited a shader program that all of the Adreno 600 family must always gain a intention to drag.

In any case, the fast model is that with this enabled, this can relieve add realism to gaming and augmented actuality by extra suited lighting physics and fabric interactions. Qualcomm said that by the Team spirit and Unreal four engines, developers will gain a intention to utilize valid world gives designed from scientific values created by corporations love Quixels and Allegorithmic that can fetch their environments extra practical, such because the suited surface roughness / audio reflections or fabric-on-fabric interactions. This might seemingly well also relieve with lighting and depth perception. Extra principal aspects to come lend a hand.

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