If you’ve been paying attention to the right places in the past few months it was probably obvious this was coming, but Qualcomm is announcing a higher tier to their Snapdragon 82x lineup, known as the Snapdragon 821 or MSM8996 Pro. While today’s announcement basically boils down to acknowledging that this SoC exists and that the big CPU cores have a clock speed of 2.4 GHz, it’s likely that in the months since the Snapdragon 820 was released Qualcomm engineering staff have been working on resolving various errata as well as improving their floorplanning and architecture implementation. It’s also likely that we will see a few new or otherwise revised IP blocks.

  Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 821
CPU Perf Cluster 2x Kryo 2.2 GHz 2x Kryo 2.4 GHz
CPU Power Cluster 2x Kryo 1.6 GHz 2x Kryo >2 GHz
GPU Adreno 530 624 MHz Adreno ??? ~650 MHz

What isn’t in this announcement is that the power cluster will likely be above 2 GHz and GPU clocks look to be around 650 MHz but without knowing whether there are some changes other than clock relative to Adreno 530 we can’t really estimate the performance of this part. However, this information can be subject to change depending upon what happens at Qualcomm. It's important to note here that while these changes may seem to be small that improvements in the implementation of an SoC can have a dramatic effect on performance and power. I’m sure we’ll be learning more about this SoC in the coming months so for now we’ll just have to wait and see what comes next.

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  • jerrylzy - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    And you clearly don't know how difficult scheduling is on a big.LITTLE platform.
  • more-or-less - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link


    Any details on Exynos 8893 yet?
  • GXCoder - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    It's Exynos 8890
  • Eden-K121D - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    A higher clocked version
  • lmcd - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    I love this viewpoint so much that I'm going to completely disagree with it and ask why on earth you posted it?

    The model SoC is still the OMAP4470, and the fact that no one has imitated their strategy is a crying shame. A small number of comparatively-big cores, and two ultra-lightweight processors for select common, lightweight tasks.
  • tuxRoller - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    They're smaller b/c, to a chip, they use absurdly underpowered GPUs.
  • alvareo - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    Cores above four on a phone is just spec masturbation. There's no reason why a goddamn phone would need up to two times the amount of cores you need on a computer for good performance. It's no coincidence Qualcomm went back to four cores after the 810 disaster. Speaking of which, according to you the 820 should underperform AND consume more battery compared to the 810 (or the 808, or, hell, any hexa/octa/deca (!) core SoC), which is clearly not the case
  • fanofanand - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    You mean like the already-released Helio X20 decacore processor?
  • lilmoe - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    ANDDDDD the most powerful, most power efficient ARM processor happens to be an eight-core "mad" monster.

    Keep drinking the cool-aid guys. It's good for you.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    So why is qualcomm now making a quad core, and why does apple rule the roost with a dual core design?

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