Qualcomm releases the Snapdragon 855 and 675 sources on CAF
Qualcomm is currently dominating the mobile space in both the higher-end market as well as the mid-range market. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is their latest high-end mobile system-on-chip, and it’s a significant upgrade from last year’s Snapdragon 845 in many different ways, with an Adreno 640 GPU, a 7nm-based octa-core setup, and a dedicated NPU being only some of the improvements on board the Snapdragon 855. Said chipset is used on several 2019 flagship devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, the LG G8 ThinQ/V50 ThinQ, and the OnePlus 7/7 Pro. The Snapdragon 675, on the other hand, is one of the most notable midrange SoCs this year, and it’s used on several devices such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Snapdragon-based devices are very popular in our forums, and not just because of them being widely available, but also because we have readily available sources, documentation, and HALs for Qualcomm chipsets. Contrary to silicon manufacturers like Samsung and MediaTek, most of Qualcomm’s platform-specific code is publicly available in the Code Aurora Forums (CAF) for developers to tinker with. This, combined with the device-specific kernel source and blobs provided by the device manufacturer, makes ROM development for a Qualcomm-based device much easier. And while the lack of sources isn’t as big of a problem as it used to be (after all, you can get a GSI running on most modern devices nowadays), CAF releases still make a lot of things way simpler.
Now, the CAF source code for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (sm8150) and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 (sm6150) are now available, roughly 10 months after the Snapdragon 845 (sdm845) sources were made available. As such, developers can now start building for their devices. What this means for users is that you should expect to see a lot more custom ROMs and kernels for devices based on these platforms in the coming weeks/months.