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Qualcomm at CES 2017: First Snapdragon 835 device revealed as VR smartglasses

Qualcomm confirmed new details about the Snapdragon 835 processor at the chipmaker’s CES 2017 press conference in Las Vegas today, including revealing the first Snapdragon 835-powered device.

At the press event, Qualcomm revealed that the Snapdragon 835 – announced back in November – can enable smartphones to offer five hours of talk time from just five minutes of charging. It was also confirmed that the Snapdragon 835 chip would consume 25% less power than the older Snapdragon 820 and 821 chips, that featured in many of last year’s flagship smartphones. All this results in a bonus 2.5 hours of use per day, according to Qualcomm.

Processing heft also came into play, with Qualcomm detailing how the built-in Adreno 540 GPU would offer 25% faster graphics, with heterogeneous computing allowing for demanding AR/VR uses – like Google’s Daydream VR platform, for instance. Qualcomm also confirmed that the chip would feature a new Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU, laid out in an eight-core, ARM big.LITTLE configuration for power efficiency purposes.

snapdragon 835Built by Samsung, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 is the company’s first 10nm chip, which means it’s capable of being more power efficient or more powerful than its predecessors

The Snapdragon 835 also supports cameras with resolutions ranging up to 32-megapixels at 30 frames per second, and is capable of offering “fast, accurate autofocus” and “outstanding optical zoom”.

As was already announced, the Snapdragon 835 will also include Qualcomm’s custom-built Snapdragon X16 modem. This is the company’s flagship mobile modem, which was revealed last year, and is Qualcomm’s first modem to offer 1Gbps download speeds. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to take advantage of that theoretical maximum for a while – UK carriers will need to improve networks first.

Speaking about the impending availability of the chip, Keith Kressin, SVP of Product Management at Qualcomm, said: “It’s going to be in a large volume of devices. Certainly it’s going to be in a lot of smartphones. But it’s not just going to be in smartphones. You’re going to see it in standalone VR and AR devices.”

“We’re in production now. We’re ramping high volume,” added Kressin, who confirmed that Snapdragon 835 devices would be landing in the first half of 2017.

Qualcomm even announced the first Snapdragon 835 devices: the ODG R-8 and R-9 AR/VR smartglasses. Details were thin on the ground, but we did get a brief glimpse of the smart shades:

https://twitter.com/statuses/816407790990348288

The R-8 has a 40-degree+ field of view and a HD resolution, while the R-9 offers a 50-degree field of view and a Full HD 1080p image resolution. Both devices will work with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR SDK, too.

The premium Snapdragon 835 processor was designed from the ground-up to support new and innovative products and experiences beyond mobile phones, and it’s great to see that the first announced Snapdragon 835 devices will be ODG’s smartglasses,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies.

“Thermal dissipation on a heavy compute but small device is very difficult so higher power efficiency is a must,” continued Talluri. “The Snapdragon 835 processor, with our unique SoC design expertise on a 10nm process node, enables ODG to meet their design goals and develop lighter, smaller and sleeker smartglasses that take advantage of the new processor’s superior performance and power efficiency.”

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Watch: CES 2017 – What to expect

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