Qualcomm’s mid-cycle “plus” chip update – Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 – has been announced. As usual, Qualcomm promises some modest improvements over the current 8 Gen 1 chip. The company said the chip will provide “10 percent faster CPU performance,” thanks to a 200MHz maximum CPU boost (up to 3.2GHz now) and a 10 percent faster GPU. The real shocker is the claim of a “30 percent energy efficiency improvement” for the CPU and GPU.
For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, Qualcomm is moving the chip from Samsung Foundry to TSMC, which appears to be the source of the power improvements. This is a serious criticism of Samsung’s 4nm process versus TSMC’s 4nm process, but it is consistent with previous reports of Problems At Samsung Foundry.
Swapping out foundries as part of a mid-cycle upgrade isn’t a natural thing, and Qualcomm seems to have quite a bit of a rescue on its hands with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The chip didn’t perform well in the real world, with the CPU Regularly turning in Lower benchmarks than the Snapdragon 888 flagship of 2021.
Qualcomm doesn’t do all that much for phones on a yearly basis to begin with, and it regularly lags behind Apple’s SoC team. A reliable upgrade that Qualcomm can provide is usually a measurable percentage of standard improvements. The GPU was able to improve for 2022, but I noticed a drop in CPU capacity after Qualcomm claimed it would be 20% faster It is a huge disappointment. After changing the foundry and increasing the CPU MHz, Qualcomm’s 2022 CPU may finally be faster than its 2021 counterpart.
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