Jan 15, 2017

Power to the power users: Battery breakthroughs in Snapdragon 835


We all have our little tricks to eke out a bit more life from our mobile devices — dim the screen, turn off geolocation features, disable push notifications and background data. We’re all constantly having to ask ourselves: “Is this feature on my phone worth the battery life it’s going to drain away?”

No one feels this compromise more than we do at Qualcomm Technologies, and that’s why our engineers kept battery life and charging speed top of mind as they developed the groundbreaking Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. We think you’re going to like the result: A next-generation 10nm processor that doesn’t force a compromise between power and battery life.

The breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of how long you can use a Snapdragon 835-powered phone for some of your favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite) activities:
Another stat you might like: devices employing Snapdragon 835 along with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 can get a 50 percent charge in 15 minutes or less.

The longer life and the faster charge represent a big step forward, enough to change our relationships with our phones. Rather than disabling features, conserving battery life, and planning ahead so our phones don’t die in the middle of a night out with friends, we can have enough power to get us through the day and night, and a quick resolution if our phone’s battery become depleted.

More (with less)
The Snapdragon 835’s extended battery life is a result of several hardware and software architectural improvements that improve power management, as well as its industry-first 10nm FinFet fabrication process. This process packs smaller, more efficient transistors – over 3 billion of them – into the same silicon die. The smaller package size (a 35-percent reduction from its predecessor, the 14nm Snapdragon 820) means more features can be integrated into the processor, allowing it to deliver top-notch AR/VR experiences, photography and video, network speed, and security in a smaller footprint.

Qualcomm Technologies’ heterogeneous processing approach is key for mobile application performance:
- The Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU is designed to handle complex workloads like web browsing and in-game artificial intelligence.
- The Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU is ideal for arithmetic-heavy workloads that require substantial, parallel number crunching like 3D graphics rendering, and camcorder image stabilization.
- The fully integrated Qualcomm Spectra 180 ISP is engineered to accelerate camera image signal processing for things like capturing HDR pictures and recording videos along with Adreno’s video subsystem.
- The Qualcomm Hexagon 682 DSP with HVX (Hexagon wide Vector eXtensions) is the playground of power efficient software innovation.  It excels at applications requiring heavy vector data processing, such as 6-DOF (or Degrees Of Freedom) head motion tracking for virtual reality, image processing, and neural networks.
- The Qualcomm All-Ways Aware hub is designed to provide for power efficient always-on functions such as sensor fusion and Qualcomm improveTouch technology. It resides on its own low power domain, and is the “last man standing” on the SoC. It uses 80% less power than Snapdragon 820 for Google’s Awareness API.

Along with the processor’s smaller, more efficient size and an improved heterogeneous processing architecture, Snapdragon 835 is supported by the Qualcomm Symphony System Manager that helps Snapdragon developers optimize their applications by supporting heterogeneous scheduling and load balancing to make sure the right processing cores are used optimally for a given workload. Symphony System Manager is also designed to help application developers specify where critical workloads are processed, further maximizing performance and efficiency.

But don’t think our obsession with battery efficiency means we’re compromising on power. The Snapdragon 835’s multi-core Kryo 280 CPU is a semi-custom design built on ARM Cortex technology. It features four high-performance cores running at up to 2.45 GHz, and four efficiency cores designed to manage 80 percent or more of the everyday workload.

It’s these forward-thinking design components that make the processor uniquely positioned to handle the future wave of innovation.

As you may have noticed by now, we are immensely proud of the Snapdragon 835. It represents years of bleeding-edge research stacked on top of decades of mobile leadership. It’s our flagship processor for an era that will see groundbreaking developments in IoT, machine learning, and 5G (many of them coming from our own engineers).

We’re excited to see how the device manufacturers we work with and people all over the world will use and benefit from Snapdragon 835.


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