Qualcomm brings more on-device AI to smartphones with Snapdragon 8s Gen 3

At CES 2024, Qualcomm Inc CEO Cristiano Amon boldly stated that one of the key aims for the company in 2024 was a fundamental shift in how it sees itself, from a wireless communications firm to a connected processor and artificial intelligence (AI) company with a specific overarching strategy to tap into the growing world of AI in local devices – and in the latest part of this plan, the firm’s Technologies division has announced the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform.

Marquee features include support for powerful on-device generative AI features, an always-sensing ISP, hyper-realistic mobile gaming, breakthrough connectivity and lossless high-definition sound. The platform supports a broad array of AI models, including popular large language models (LLMs) such as Baichuan-7B, Llama 2 and Gemini Nano.

This fits in with Amon’s overall vision stated at the tech show in January. “We have been very passionate about the role of AI in the devices we carry,” he said. “We’ve been talking about on-device [AI for a long time], and our job was [to make] a computing engine that is going to make that technology run pervasively … The next form of computing, which is accelerated computing for AI, is going to happen everywhere. There’s fundamentally one thing that is different now. I look at [AI on devices] as the foundation of many of the things we’re doing.”

Among the other overall features included in the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform set is “breakthrough” connectivity enabling connections from virtually anywhere. These include the AI-accelerated Snapdragon X70 5G ModemRF System, which offers the latest 3GPP Release 17 5G advancements over widespread networks with “outstanding” battery efficiency.

The Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 Mobile Connectivity System reaches speeds up to 5.8 Gbps via Wi-Fi 7, while high band simultaneous multi-link functionality instantly selects the strongest, fastest Wi-Fi signal available.

Chris Patrick, senior vice-president and general manager of mobile handsets at Qualcomm Technologies, said: “With capabilities including on-device generative AI and advanced photography features, Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is designed to enhance user experiences, fostering creativity and productivity in their daily lives.

“We’re elated to introduce the latest addition to our premium Snapdragon 8-series, our most premium mobile offering, bringing a host of exceptional specially selected capabilities to more consumers.”

Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is set to be adopted by key smartphone original equipment manufacturers including Honor, iQOO, Realme, Redmi and Xiaomi, with the first device expected to be announced later in March 2024.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to introduce the first device powered by Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 – coming soon,” said William Lu, partner and president of Xiaomi Corporation. “This new mobile platform will allow us to provide our customers with a personalised premium experience, all thanks to generative AI.”

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