Hail Hydra! Snapdragon 820 Leak Reveals Quad 14nm Hydra Cores And 35% Performance Boost

It's a good time to be a fan of technology. On the desktop front, Intel just launched Skylake (check out our review), and in the mobile world, Qualcomm is getting ready to release its Snapdragon 820 chipset, which will inevitably find its way into performance oriented handsets. We'll have official details later this month when Qualcomm formally introduces its flagship part, but in the meantime, leaked slides seem to reveal an awful lot about it.

From a manufacturing standpoint, Snapdragon 820 represents a move to a 14nm FinFET node. This will bring "significant" power and thermal improvements compared to Qualcomm's 20nm manufacturing process, and will allow Qualcomm to keep up with Samsung and its Exynos 7420 System-on-Chip (SoC), which is also a 14nm part.


The Snapdragon 820 will feature four custom 64-bit ARMv8 ISA compliant CPUs that Qualcomm is calling Hydra. Combined with dual-channel LPDDR4 memory support, Qualcomm is claiming a 35 percent performance improvement compared to Snapdragon 810.

On the graphics side, Snapdragon 820 will include an Adreno 530 GPU that's supposedly 40 percent faster than its predecessor and at least 30 percent more power efficient. In other words, the performance expectations for Snapdragon 820 are high.

Outside of raw computing and graphics horsepower, Snapdragon 820 will also feature support for up to 28-megapixel cameras with programmable DSPs. Qualcomm views this as a potential way for smartphone makers to differentiate their handsets.

Qualcomm is set to announce its Snapdragon 820 part on August 11, and if all goes to plan, we should see handsets and tablets using it by the end of the year.