Qualcomm has officially unveiled its next-generation mobile processor, which premium flagships of the next few years are destined to come equipped with. It’s called the Snapdragon 855, and it comes with a number of upgrades that usher phones into the future.

For one, the chip will support 5G network connectivity. That’s a big promise for Qualcomm to make, especially since a lot of carriers have been waxing poetic about this technology yet come up empty handed when asked to show proof or provide a concrete schedule. Qualcomm baking it into its latest platform lets 5G escape from the cruft of hype-talk, at least.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

The announcement was expected. Around the same time a year ago, the company officially showed off its Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, also at the Snapdragon Technology Summit. However, the Snapdragon 855 isn’t a mere spec bump from the 845. Rather, it’s the first chip that will properly utilize 5G and will absolutely appear in the first wave of 5G-capable phones as the network slowly but surely gains footing. Qualcomm isn’t mincing words here too. It’s very straightforward about its claims, stating that this new platform will support “multi-gigabit” download speeds on 5G networks.

A Major Step Toward 5G Networks

This year’s Snapdragon Technology Summit is also pretty special considering it’s one of the last major milestones before 5G networks actually launch in the United States. Not only that, both AT&T and Verizon are making the rounds in the Grand Wailea hotel in Maui — where the conference is taking place — to demo real 5G devices as well. This is the first time for any carrier to do such a feat, since 5G demos in the past have been lackluster, if not totally theoretical or performed behind closed doors, as The Verge notes.

When Will The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Be Released?

Qualcomm is the top dog when it comes to mobile processors, at least in the United States. As such, there’s very little question that it will appear in most major flagship phones from here on out. Whether or not it proves to be a big step forward in the smartphone chip game doesn’t matter, really — manufacturers are still going to put it in their latest phones. 2019 is a safe bet.

As for the other improvements, Qualcomm says the chip will give “up to three times the AI performance compared to the previous generation mobile platform.” In addition, there will be a computer vision processor baked into the platform, which helps to “recognize who and what you’re capturing,” according to Qualcomm executive Alex Katouzian.

Makes sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more about the Snapdragon 855. In the meantime, feel free to sound off in the comments section below if you have any thoughts!

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