Qualcomm Introduces the Snapdragon 835 at CES 2017

Qualcomm Introduces the Snapdragon 835 at CES 2017

Consumer Electronics Show – Las Vegas, Nevada. 2PM PST on January 3rd, 2017:

At CES 2017, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. has officially introduced its latest high-end mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. This is Qualcomm’s first SoC which is commercially manufactured using the 10nm FinFET process node. The Snapdragon 835 is built not only to power the next generation flagship smartphones, but also to better support mobile augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and even consumer devices such as IP cameras and mobile PCs with Windows 10.



The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC utilizes the custom Kryo CPU architecture found in earlier designs but upgrades the specifications to the latest Kryo 280. With this upgrade, the S835 will feature 4 performance cores running at up to a maximum frequency of 2.45GHz and 4 efficiency cores running at up to 1.9GHz. The SoC also features dual-channel LP DDR4x memory at 1866MHz.

The 10nm FinFET manufacturing process contributes to the overall efficiency of the processor. Compared to the Snapdragon 820, the Snapdragon 835 is 35% smaller in package size and overall consumes 25% less power, theoretically providing longer battery life.



The GPU will also see an upgrade of its own. Qualcomm will ship the Snapdragon 835 with its latest Adreno 540 GPU. The Adreno 540 supports OpenGL ES 3.2, full OpenCL 2.0, the Vulkan Graphics API, and DirectX 12, enabling the GPU to handle high-end mobile gaming for many months to come. Keeping in mind the growing demand for AR and VR content, the GPU in the S835 is built to handle scenarios of high performance while constraining thermal limits and thus maintaining battery efficiency.

The Snapdragon 835 sees up to a 25% increase in 3D graphics rendering performance, and supports 4K Ultra HD video (capture at 30fps, playback at 60fps with support for H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC)), wide color gamut 10-bit display, and AR/VR motion tracking through Qualcomm’s sensor fusion-based six degrees of freedom (6DoF). As a cherry on top, the Snapdragon 835 does provide support for Google Daydream.



The DSP will be upgraded from the Hexagon 680 found in the Snapdragon 820‘s to the new Hexagon 682 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtentions (HVX). The upgrade to the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine framework includes support for Google’s TensorFlow and custom neural network-layer. This should enable developers interested in machine learning to enable rich user experiences such as intelligent photography and smarter personal assistants and automobiles. The DSP also adds in the Halide framework for image processing.

The core of the image capture experience on the Snapdragon 835 is the Qualcomm Spectra 180 ISP, featuring dual 14-bit ISPs. This allows for hardware makers to opt for either a single 32MP camera or dual 16MP cameras. Depending on the OEM manufacturing preference, the camera sensor can also pack a hybrid autofocus, Qualcomm Clear Sight, Optical Zoom support, hardware accelerated face detection, and/or HDR video recording.


Security enhancements have also been made with the next iteration of Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon SoC. Qualcomm has unveiled what the company calls the “Qualcomm Haven Security Platform“, which improves biometrics and device attestation security measures. The platform provides support for hardware-based user authentication such as for fingerprint, eye, and face-based biometrics as well as improved device attestation measures for mobile payments, enterprise data access, and personal data storage.



As mobile data networks continue to improve, so too do the chipsets that enable our smartphones to connect to these networks. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 ships with an integrated X16 LTE modem with support for Category 16 LTE download speeds (up to one gigabit per second) and Category 13 LTE upload speeds (up to 150 megabits per second). The integrated 2×2 11ac MU-MIMO provides up to 60% reduction in Wi-Fi power consumption compared to the Snapdragon 820. With the optional 802.11ad Multi-gigabit Wi-Fi, peak speed of up to 4.6 Gigabits per second is possible. Furthermore, the Snapdragon 835 is the first Bluetooth 5 certified commercial chipset offering up to two megabits per second transfer speed. All of these connectivity features combined enable the S835 to power our needs for better cloud storage capabilities, richer multimedia applications, and demanding AR/VR experiences.

Other features of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 include Qualcomm Location with support for GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo and QZSS systems. The Qualcomm Aqstic WCD9341 audio codec helps the Snapdragon 835 to support audiophile grade DAC with 32bit/384kHz support with SNR at 115dB and native DSD hi-fi audio playback. Moreover, the SoC supports Qualcomm aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth audio for improvements to power for wireless connectivity.


Last but not the least, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology will be seeing massive improvements with the introduction of the Quick Charge 4.0 specification. This improvement claims up to 20% faster charging and up to a 30% higher efficiency compared to Quick Charge 3.0.

Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 835 and a penny

Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 835 and a penny

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC is in production now, and is expected to ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. We’re excited to see how OEMs choose to tap into the possibilities that the new SoC brings for flagships. Are you?

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]