It’s the eternal technological struggle – do you want your devices smaller or faster? And, is more processing power a priority, or would you rather have a device that holds a charge through heavy use all day? For the most part, these are questions with either/or answers - it’s difficult to fit better, faster processors into smaller devices, and enhanced power will obviously drain your battery faster. So you settle for a middle ground, or give up whatever gadget feature falls just a little further down on your wish list. That is, until now. This week Qualcomm unveiled its next-gen Snapdragon 835 flagship CPU, and it does it all. Using Samsung’s 10-nanometer FinFET process, it is set to be the new standard by which all other processors are measured.
To start with, the Snapdragon 835 is ushering in a lot of firsts. While companies like Intel and TMSC are currently developing their own 10-nanometer chips, Samsung is the first to actually start building them. It also ranks first for speed, as Qualcomm has confirmed that the 835 will be the company’s fastest mobile chip. That means more than just fast processing – users will also experience better graphics, better performance within apps, and even faster LTE service. The new technology amounts to what the company says is roughly a 27 percent bump in performance, while remarkably consuming 40 percent less power than its most recent predecessor. This of course leads to much better battery life; an area that historically has suffered as a result of increased processing power. And finally, Samsung and Qualcomm managed to achieve multiple technological milestones without making any more room for them on the CPU itself. In fact, the 835 has packed 30 percent more parts into the same amount of space as before. And since the 10-nanometer chips are thinner, that officially opens the door for thinner smartphones and tablets. But how much thinner?
To put things into a little perspective, consider the fact that 14-nanometer technology is already mere fractions of the thickness of human hair for circuit trace width in silicon. The new 10-nanometer technology moves into a realm where we are now dealing with connections at fractions of molecular level size. Truly, it boggles the mind. If all that math and science just muddies up your search for a faster device with better battery power, we’ll take it back down a notch for you. Along with the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm recently announced its next generation of Quick Charge technology. Quick Charge 4.0 is slated to deliver a 20 percent speed increase over its predecessor, and will be a standard feature on the new 835. The company claims that this alone will give your device “five hours of use from just five minutes of charging”, and can provide up a 50 percent battery charge in just 15 minutes using a USB-C port. These numbers could still shift slightly between now and when they debut at CES in Las Vegas early next year, but one thing is for sure – in the tech world, it’s onward and upward as usual.
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