Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 release date: co-processor Hexagon 680 DSP detailed, image quality gets a boost


The countdown to the arrival of the Snapdragon b20 chip is on, and Qualcomm announced the arrival of the improved Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP (digital signal processor) that serves as a co-processor for the upcoming Snapdragon 820. The digital signal processor helps boost up the speed and performance of the device by performing tasks that can be done faster and can be executed with less power consumption needed.

As for the new Hexagon 680 DSP integrated into the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm detailed its new features via their official press release. First off is the utilization of a separate DSP for sensor processing tasks. Dubbed as the “low power island”, this stand-alone DSP is designed to improve the battery life of the device when using tasks and processes that are always kept on, such as activity counters as well as sensor-assisted positioning in the absence of a stable GPS service.

The second feature is set to bring innovation in display and imaging quality. The HVX, or Hexagon Vector eXtensions, provides advanced imaging and computer vision that works with the Qualcomm Spectra camera ISP. One example of the power the HVX brings is that it automatically brightens video and images shot by the camera that would appear as darker when shot with cameras on devices running under a different chip.

“We’re significantly enhancing the visual processing capabilities of Snapdragon to support next-generation user experiences related to computational photography, computer vision, virtual reality and photo-realistic graphics on mobile devices, all while maximizing battery life,” said Tim Leland, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“Qualcomm Spectra ISP, together with our Adreno 5xx-class GPU, brings an entirely new level of imaging to smartphones, and is designed to allow Snapdragon-powered devices to capture ultra-clear, vivid photos and videos regardless of motion and lighting conditions and display them with the color accuracy that nature intended. In addition, as emerging growth segments such as automotive demand more immersive visual experiences, Snapdragon 820 will enable the next generation of infotainment, computer vision and advanced processing for instrument clusters.”

Devices that will be running under the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon will be coming their way to users in the first half of 2016.