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Snapdragon 820 DSP power pries open new markets

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Snapdragon 820? hexagon DSP? HVX vector? VR? power?

With increasing pressure on smartphone suppliers to provide ever-increasing capabilities, Qualcomm aims to meet their needs with the upcoming Snapdragon 820. Featuring both greater and additional capabilities, Qualcomm continues its emphasis on strong R&D.

Traditionally, Qualcomm has been the leader in cell phone DSP and in the 820, three new Hexagon DSPs are employed for maximum performance and efficiency. From a network standpoint, the 820 features the company's X12 global multimode LTE carrier-aggregation modem capability, enabling 3GPP Category 10 operation for 450Mbit/s down link and 100Mbit/s uplink speeds. This is implemented through the 820's powerful modem DSP.

Through its new Compute DSP Snapdragon 820 introduces new premium tier user experiences, including advanced photography, computer vision, VR and machine learning, while simultaneously lowering system power requirements by eliminating energy intensive CPU tasks, shifting to the more efficient compute-optimised Hexagon 680 DSP. The 680 features the HVX vector extensions coprocessor for Low Power Compute, Audio, Voice, Advanced Image/Video Processing and Computer Vision. This provides a lower-power alternative to employing CPU functionality to such operations. The 680 DSP is a highly efficient multi-threaded programmable compute engine that enables concurrent execution of audio and imaging tasks. New architecture extensions for imaging features have been added while maintaining the Snapdragon tool chain.

Hexagon DSP in Snapdragon 820

Figure 1: Hexagon DSP in Snapdragon 820. Qualcomm claims the three DSP blocks result in the maximum possible efficiency. [Click on image to see larger version in new tab/window.] (Source: Qualcomm Technologies Inc.)

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