Next-Gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Promises Faster Clock Speeds

In April, reports surfaced suggesting that Qualcomm had completed the design of its forthcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 application processor (AP), slated for release in October. However, with Apple’s upcoming M4 chip showcasing exceptional single-core benchmark scores, rumors are circulating that Qualcomm is now considering a redesign of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset. The alleged plan involves increasing the targeted clock speed from 4GHz to 4.26GHz, likely in response to Apple’s performance benchmarks. This adjustment reflects Qualcomm’s efforts to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving mobile chipset market and to meet the growing demands for high-performance mobile devices.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Benchmark Test Shows Impressive Score

Qualcomm’s move to compete directly with Apple’s high-end M-series and A-series chips appears strategic, especially considering the context of their manufacturing process. The 8 Gen 4 is set to be manufactured by TSMC, a leading foundry, using its second-generation (N3E) 3nm process node. Interestingly, this same process node will also be utilized by TSMC to produce Apple’s M4 chip and the A18 and A18 Pro chipsets, which are expected to power different variants of the iPhone 16 lineup. This shared manufacturing process underscores Qualcomm’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology on par with, if not surpassing, Apple’s offerings, while also highlighting the intense competition within the mobile chipset market.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4
Source: Geekbench

The decision to base the design of the AP on the Snapdragon X Elite laptop processor, rather than incorporating the ARMv9 instruction set, has implications for its capabilities. One notable consequence is that Qualcomm’s flagship smartphone chip will not feature Scalable Matrix Extension (SME). This technology, present in chips like Apple’s M4, enhances the efficiency of handling complex tasks. The absence of SMEs may have contributed to the impressive benchmark scores achieved by the M4, such as the Geekbench 6 single-core and multi-core scores of 3,767 and 14,677, respectively. While Qualcomm’s approach may differ, it remains to be seen how the 8 Gen 4 will perform in real-world scenarios compared to its competitors.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Officially Confirmed

Qualcomm’s decision to increase the clock speed of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 to a targeted speed of 4.26GHz could be an attempt to mitigate the potential performance impact resulting from the absence of Scalable Matrix Extension (SME). By boosting the clock speed, Qualcomm aims to compensate for any reduction in performance expected due to the lack of SME. Additionally, the 8 Gen 4 will not rely on ARM’s Cortex CPU cores but will instead utilize Qualcomm’s custom Phoenix cores.

The unveiling of the 8 Gen 4 during October’s Snapdragon Summit will provide valuable insights into Qualcomm’s latest advancements in mobile processor technology. Anticipation is high, especially regarding its potential use in flagship smartphones like the U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy S25 and Galaxy S25+.

MediaTek Dimensity 9400 Vs. Snapdragon 8 Gen 4

Additionally, it is expected to power the Galaxy S25 Ultra across all markets. The official debut of the SD 8 Gen 4 will offer a clearer understanding of its performance capabilities and how it compares to competing chipsets, marking an important milestone in the evolution of mobile computing.

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