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Qualcomm confirms Snapdragon 820, details 64-bit Kyro CPU

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Qualcomm Snapdragon

Qualcomm has finally detailed its next flagship mobile chip, the Snapdragon 820.

Set to land as a successor to the current high-end Snapdragon 810, the new 820 will be Qualcomm’s most powerful chip yet.

The US-based chip manufacturer is keeping mum about most of the 820’s inner workings right now, but did reveal it will carry a ‘Kyro’ processor core.

Kyro is a 64-bit CPU core set to debut on the Snapdragon 820 SoC, and will begin sampling on ‘a leading edge FinFET process’ in the second half of this year.

There are a few things we can take away from that statement. The first is the release schedule. H2 2015 sampling infers that we’ll likely see this land in actual devices by this time next year.

The second is the FinFet process. This assures that the chipset will be based on either a 16nm or 14nm manufacturing process, both of which are more efficient than the current 20nm process used for the Snapdragon 810.

Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s executive VP, said: “The premium mobile experiences of the future will extend beyond traditional features and functionality and be defined by devices that have the ability to learn and adapt to the needs of the user, through fully harnessing the growing levels of compute, multimedia, and connectivity in our mobile devices.”

Related: Snapdragon 810 Features: What you need to know

What’s more, the Snapdragon 820 is the keystone in the founding of Qualcomm’s new Zeroth computing platform.

What’s important about Zeroth is that it’s Qualcomm’s push for cognitive computing i.e. solving tricky, more human-like problems.

Qualcomm describes this as providing the platform for ‘more intuitive experiences and natural interactions’.

Examples include contextual actions based on environmental factors perceived through device sensors, e.g. facial expressions, sounds. Qualcomm also talks about using behavioural analysis to help provide secure authentication for mobile access.

It’s all very vague right now, but more details should emerge from Qualcomm’s presence at MWC 2015.

Amon, adding to his earlier statement, said: “At MWC 2015, we’ll take the first steps towards realising this vision with the Zeroth platform, and set the stage for a new level of intelligence and personalisation for mobile devices.”

“Zeroth intelligence will scale across a wide range of implementations from automobiles, wearables, smartphones, and client computing and have a learned personalisation that has the ability to transfer across devices as a consumer upgrade to the next-generation."

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