Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855 processor with 5G and performance improvements

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There's no official word yet on which phone makers might adopt the Snapdragon 855 and its 3D Sonic Sensor, though Katouzian said the first such devices would come out in the first half of next year.

AI Performance Boost: The Snapdragon 855 includes Qualcomm's 4th-gen multi-core AI engine, which should deliver a 3x performance boost in artificial intelligence features over the Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm plans to provide more details about the Snapdragon 855 on Wednesday. The platform will also be 5G ready thanks to being compatible with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 modem.

Qualcomm will give us more details on the new Snapdragon 855 mobile platform during the second day of the 2018 Snapdragon Tech Summit.

In contrast to now available optical in-display fingerprint sensors, such as the one that's available in the OnePlus 6T, the company's new 3D Sonic Sensor technology uses ultrasonic waves to capture and authenticate an individual's fingerprint instead of a 2D image.

Consumer-ready 5G networks have yet to be deployed in earnest in the US, but Qualcomm is getting ahead of the curve by announcing its latest processor and modem so that it can be integrated into upcoming smartphones as the first networks go live.

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AT&T and Verizon both have 5G networks set up in the hotel where the Qualcomm event is taking place, and using a reference device shown off on stage during the keynote, those in attendance will get to experience a 5G connection on a reference smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 855 platform. This is an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader that Qualcomm says will read your fingerprint even if its wet or oily.

Other Snapdragon capabilities teased by Qualcomm today support features that have become increasingly important to smartphone users. Apple has never been first when it comes to integrating new network technology in the iPhone, waiting for others to work out the initial issues such as battery life and overall impact on daily use. The updated engine should deliver a 3x performance boost in artificial intelligence features over what we saw with the Snapdragon 845 now found in many Android flagship devices.

Google aren't at the Snapdragon Summit specifically, but the company has embraced Qualcomm's processing tech for the entire Pixel series so far.

During the keynote on Tuesday, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform.

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