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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G with support for 144Hz mobile gaming

At its event at the Mobile World Congress 2021 today, Qualcomm took to the stage to unveil the Snapdragon 888 Plus (or Snapdragon 888+, depending upon your preference) 5G Mobile Platform. As the name suggests, this is an enhancement to the Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform announced in December 2020.

Graphics of Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile Platform

The focus this time appears to be around "AI-enhanced gameplay", with Qualcomm saying that the chipset uses the Adreno 660 GPU and Kryo 680 CPU with a clock speed of up to 3GHz, coupled with the sixth-generation Qualcomm AI Engine which provides 32 TOPS "AI performance". The latter is a 20% improvement over the Snapdragon 888.

Qualcomm's senior vice president and general manager of mobile handset business Christopher Patrick had the following to say about the company's flagship chipset:

Snapdragon is synonymous with premium Android experiences. Our latest flagship Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile Platform will help deliver the premium entertainment, connectivity, and gaming experiences users deserve. We’re excited to see OEMs launch with products based on our highest performing platform.

The Hexagon 780 processor features a "fused architecture" which allows it to run multiple neural networks at once for a variety of use-cases. The chipset also sports a second-generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub which operates in an always-on status at a lower power for AI-assisted tasks. Given Qualcomm's ongoing investments in 5G, the chipset offers enhanced connectivity to the technology as well. On the imaging front, it offers the same Spectra 580 ISP which is capable of parallel processing with speeds up to 2.7 gigapixels per second, including support for 8K media encoding and decoding. Lastly, on the gaming side of the fence, it utilizes the Snapdragon Elite Gaming suite which offers 20% reduced touch latency, variable rate shading (VRS), and the ability to play games on 144Hz QHD displays. Importantly, drivers can now be updated without requiring a full OS update.

Multiple companies including Asus, Honor, Vivo, Motorola, and Xiaomi have stated that their upcoming premium handsets will utilize the Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G. These devices are expected in the third quarter of 2021.

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