Qualcomm, the largest supplier of mobile phone chips, said Snapdragon 855 would power Samsung 5G smartphones that Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS said on Monday would be released in the United States in the first half of 2019. The companies said they will unveil a proof-of-concept Samsung 5G phone this week at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui.
The carrier, which is set to merge with T-Mobile in 2019, stated that it's now "one of Samsung's biggest customers" and that it's definitely "working with them".
The new mobile platform comes with a new HEVC and VP9 codec decoder that is seven times more efficient, and Qualcomm claims this means you won't need to look for the charging cable while watching movies on Snapdragon 855-powered devices in the future.
We're told the chipset will feature multi-gigabit 5G connectivity, hardware acceleration for trained neural networks in apps, and suitable graphics oomph for running virtual reality software.
At the Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm's President, Cristiano Amon, announced: "5G is here" and demonstrated the Qualcomm 5G prototype. Qualcomm also announced support for 5G in multiple countries coming next year. It seems like every day we get press releases regarding 5G - it is definitely going to be the next big thing and Qualcomm are banking on being at the forefront of this new wave. The Snapdragon 855 is the first chipset from Qualcomm with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which will help in AI computations.
Also included inside the reference 5G phone is Qualcomm's own RF antenna, QTM052, created to help eliminate interference and signal issues common in phones when something as simple as holding the device occurs.
Apple, for its part, is taking its time with 5G adoption. This NPU should triple the performance of devices equipped with Snapdragon 855 during these specific tasks compared to the previous generation. That will pave the way to new computational photography and video capture features, the chip-maker suggests.
We're expecting to see the new Snapdragon 855 chipset in a variety of top-end phones throughout 2019 and beyond, and we've had a think about the most likely up-and-coming devices that will likely include the cutting-edge chipset. We should be getting more information about these features from the official launch event.