Qualcomm has made a few major announcements today, including the reveals of its new Snapdragon 835 mobile CPU and Quick Charge 4. These product reveals are accompanied by the announcement of a new bounty program centered around the security of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors and LTE modems. All three announcements were made at the Snapdragon Technology Summit in New York City this morning.
First up is the reveal of the Snapdragon 835. Qualcomm Technologies will be partnering with Samsung to develop the new processor, with Samsung bringing its freshly-developed 10-nanometer FinFET process to the table. This announcement is being made just a month after Samsung said it was ready to enter mass production with its 10nm process, so Qualcomm wasted no time in taking advantage of it.
Qualcomm says that the 10nm process allows for as much as a 30% increase in area efficiency over the 14nm FinFET process. In the Snapdragon 835, that’ll translate in a smaller unit overall, which frees up space for other components used within the phone. What’s more, the improved process is said to offer increased battery life when pared with the “advanced chip design” of the Snapdragon 835.
Quick Charge 4 goes hand-in-hand with this Snapdragon announcement, because support for Quick Charge 4 will be built into 835 processors. Quick Charge 4 promises 20% faster charging than its predecessor, and integrates support for USB-C and USB-PD. That increase in charging times should mean 50% battery charge in “roughly 15 minutes,” according to Qualcomm senior vice president of product management Alex Katouzia.
Quick Charge 4 will arrive with safety features for both charging adapters and the device being charged. These features include voltage, current, and temperature monitoring, along with with measures to prevent battery over-charging. That’s probably a good thing, considering a certain phone’s battery problem and the fallout it caused.
Finally, Qualcomm has announced that it will be launching a new vulnerability rewards program. This bounty program will search for security vulnerabilities in Qualcomm’s line of Snapdragon processors and LTE modems, with up to $15,000 USD being offered for each vulnerability discovered. The program is being carried out by HackerOne, which has posted more information about the invitation-only program to its website.
Make no mistake, Qualcomm made a few significant announcements today. Given the prevalence of Qualcomm CPUs, we’ll see the 835 feature in a lot of high-end phones before long, and improvements to Quick Charge are always welcome. Quick Charge 4 will be arriving at the same time as Snapdragon 835 processors, with Qualcomm expecting those to begin shipping for Android devices in the first half of 2017.