Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Can Run Generative AI Voice Assistant On-Device
Oct 24, 2023, 2:00 PM by Rich Brome
Qualcomm has taken the wraps off its new flagship chip for phones: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Unsurprisingly, AI is the emphasis among the new features and performance gains. One key new feature is the ability to run a generative AI large language model (LLM) (specifically, Meta's Llama 2) and integrate it with a voice assistant, all on-device. Google has only recently announced such a service — Google Assistant with Bard — albeit as an "early experiment" and presumably cloud-based. The ability to run such cutting-edge AI entirely on-device, enhancing privacy, is a first. The chip also supports multi-modal generative AI, supporting both input and output via voice, text, and photo. The 8 Gen 3 can generate images via stable diffusion in under one second, many times faster than before. Snapchat has already announced plans to use this feature. The Hexagon NPU AI cores are 98% faster than last year's. In the upgraded Sensing Hub, always-on AI performance has been improved up to 3.5x, and there are now dual ISPs, enabling always-on AI using both front and rear cameras. The upgraded AI capabilities enable features such as Photo Expansion ("zooming out" on an existing photo using generative AI) and Video Object Eraser. The Kryo CPU cores feature 30% better performance and 20% better power efficiency compared to last year's chip. Qualcomm has switched to a 1-5-2 arrangement of the CPU cores, with the prime core running at 3.3 GHz and five "performance" cores running at 3.2 GHz. On the GPU side, the company claims 25% better performance and 25% better power efficiency. The chip is also the first in mobile to support ray-tracing with Global Illumination in Unreal Engine 5.2. It also supports gaming at up to 240 Hz, and upscaling to 8K on external displays. The FastConnect 7800 subsystem supports Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4 with LE Audio, and Qualcomm's new XPAN technology that lets earbuds connect over Wi-Fi, for better sound quality and/or extended range. Flagship Android devices powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 are expected to be available in the coming weeks.
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