Qualcomm has announced that its next flagship SoC for Android devices will be called the Snapdragon 835, and that it will be fabricated by Samsung on a 10nm FinFET process. The new chip will replace this year’s Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 chips, and the first devices built around it will most likely debut at the next edition of the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in February 2017.
Details of the new Snapdragon 835’s capabilities and specifications are scant. Qualcomm has only said that production is already under way. Today’s news is mainly about the fact that Samsung will be manufacturing the chip, which reinforces the strong partnership between the two companies even though they compete in some ways, most notably with Samsung also manufacturing its own line of ARM-based Exynos SoCs.
The new 10nm process should result in lower power draw per SoC, improving device battery efficiency and delivering higher performance. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 835 will be able to deliver up to 27 percent higher performance while drawing 40 percent less power compared to the previous-generation 14nm Snapdragon 820 and 821.
However, the company has detailed its new Quick Charge 4.0 feature, which will first be supported by the Snapdragon 835. Quick Charge 4.0 improves on its predecessors by allowing devices to charge faster and more efficiently. The company suggests that a five-minute charge will be enough to give users 4-5 hours of life, and that a typical device’s battery could charge up to 50 percent in 15 minutes.
Real-time thermal management will improve safety, and both voltage and current can be monitored and regulated throughout the charging process to avoid overcharging.
Compared to Quick Charge 3.0, Qualcomm projects 20 percent faster charging and 30 percent higher efficiency. Moreover, the standard will be fully compliant with the USB Power Delivery standard and the USB Type-C specification, which should improve interoperability between the devices and chargers shipped by various companies.
In a related development, Qualcomm has also announced the launch of a $15,000 (approximately Rs. 10,19,635) bug bounty reward program under which security researchers, also known as white hat hackers, will be invited to test the company’s SoCs, LTE modems and other products. The reward will be $15,000 per major vulnerability discovered and reported. Initially, the program will be open only to 40 or so known researchers who Qualcomm has worked with before.