Qualcomm Unveils AI Powerhouse: Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Brings On-Device Generative AI

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Qualcomm has a new smartphone chip that’s meant to bring powerful AI capabilities to cheaper devices. The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 has support for on-device generative AI that can create images and text, among other things. You can expect phones from Xiaomi, Redmi, Realme, iQOO, and Honor to use the chipset soon.

The company says the 4nm chipset is designed for smartphones in the mid-range to flagship price range, meaning it’ll be used on devices between $500 and $1,000. The chip comes equipped with the Hexagon AI processor, which offers “enhanced on-device generative AI” that lets you create and edit your own photos and text. It can also translate speech, identify objects, and add video captions.

Other features include the ability to take snapshots and record video in up to 4K HDR. You can also use the Spectra Image Signal Processor (SISP) to detect faces, hair, clothing, and the sky in photos and videos. You can even apply AI photo editing to improve your shots.

However, the main selling point is the generative AI capability, which isn’t usually a major focus on smartphone chips. This is the first time Qualcomm has offered such features on its entry-level mobile processors, and it hopes they can help differentiate the chipsets in the market.

Qualcomm claims the 8s Gen 3 can generate 30 AI models with up to 10 billion parameters on-device, enabling you to perform tasks like text-to-image generation and text expansion without the need to connect to the Internet. The new chip can also process much data in less than a second, thanks to the Hexagon NPU’s ability to run significant language and language vision models at up to 20 tokens per second.

Other hardware features from the company’s flagship processor include an X70 5G modem-RF system with support for dual SIM and dual active 5G connectivity and a FastConnect 7800 wireless platform that offers low-latency Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.0. The 8s Gen 3 also has an Always-Sensing ISP that can recognize up to 12 layers in a scene, such as faces, grass, trees, clothing, and accessories, for improved image and video processing.

The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is available now for OEMs to build into their upcoming phones, and Qualcomm expects to see them in stores later this year. The chip is expected to compete with Intel’s new Pentium Silver, which will be available for high-end Android devices this month. It has some of the same features as the Intel processor, though it doesn’t support real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

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