Snapdragon 895 GPU teased to get a major upgrade

While mobile processors are still playing the numbers game when it comes to clock speeds, there is also an undercurrent that is putting some emphasis on the system-on-chip's graphical capabilities. Part of that may be driven by the still-growing mobile gaming market, and part of it is due to the increasing sophistication of mobile user interfaces. There is some excitement and curiosity around Samsung's use of AMD Radeon graphics technology for its upcoming Exynos 2200 chip, but Qualcomm naturally won't take matters sitting down and might be priming the Snapdragon 895 to face that head-on.

The Snapdragon 895, if that will be the commercial name of the SM8450, will be following in the Snapdragon 888's footsteps as the company's premier mobile AP (application processor). It will be made using a 4nm process and will come with a new Snapdragon X65 5G modem-RF system built on the same process. While that alone already hints at a big step up, a Lenovo executive is teasing something even bigger is in the works.

A post on Weibo from Lenovo China's phone business General Manager Chen Jin mentions that the next Snapdragon flagship's GPU will be upgraded greatly. XDA theorizes that the Adreno 730 GPU's number already points to a big jump compared to the Snapdragon 888's Adreno 660. Of course, it's hard to imagine what big changes are in store, but Lenovo's Chen Jin seems to be quite impressed with the chipset that will be coming to the company's next top gaming smartphone, the Legion 3 Pro.

The CPU of the Snapdragon 895 won't be left behind either. It is expected to utilize one Cortex-X2 core, three Cortex-A710 cores, and four Cortex-A510 cores that were all announced earlier this year. The first to use Arm's new v9 architecture, these designs promise 30% to 40% improvements in performance.

Qualcomm is expected to announce the Snapdragon 888's successor near the end of the year, and it will be interesting to hear which phones will be racing to be the first to use it. The more interesting battle, however, will be held inside the Galaxy S22, which will have models sporting the Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 895. These next-gen chips could mark a slight shift in the AP market towards raw clock speeds and into graphics prowess, similar to what happened in the PC market.