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Qualcomm Unveils New 5G Chip

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The Snapdragon just got snappier.

If you’re more about smartphones themselves rather than the parts that make them up, you may not be up to date on Qualcomm’s dealings. Qualcomm is the company that creates processor chips for smartphones, typically Android phones. Every December, they unveil their newest creation to push the art of smartphone development a little further. This year’s new product stands to become a mainstay in all future Android phones.

Qualcomm officially unveiled their new chip today, the Snapdragon 888. This beefy new chip will become a vital component in many major phone brands starting in 2021; Qualcomm has already signed deals with Xiaomi, Motorola, and Oppo. The big draw to this new chip is integrated 5G support, with the ability to connect to most existing and future 5G networks. The 888 also features better graphical rendering capabilities if you’re into mobile gaming, as well as improved AI integration to speed up things like facial and voice recognition.

While the 800 line is Qualcomm’s most expensive, it’s still worthwhile to be invested in its developments. Features that are pioneered in the 800 line tend to trickle down to the company’s lower-end chips, so progress in the 800 line is progress for the whole brand.

“The 800 sets the tone for the rest of the road map. And I would say, within three months, similar functionality goes to our 700 tier. Within another three months functionality goes to the 600 tier, and another three months, it goes to the 400 chip tier,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president for mobile at Qualcomm.

As it gets easier for Qualcomm to produce powerful chips en masse, they’ve theorized that cheaper phones will become capable of the kind of processing muscle that you would’ve needed a much heavier phone for a few years ago.

“A $250, $300 phone next year will probably perform better than a $600 or $700 phone two years ago,” Katouzian said.