Developer Opportunities with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform

Tuesday 1/9/18 09:00am
Posted By Mike Roberts
  • Up0
  • Down0

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Last month at our Snapdragon™ Technology Summit we made some exciting announcements about our Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform that we want to share with our developer community. Most notably, there are substantial updates coming in the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform that you’ll want to start thinking about for your next development cycle.

Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with labels

Deeply Immersive Experiences

First, immersive experiences will get a boost of up to 30% in the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform in both graphics performance and power efficiency thanks to a number of components including the Qualcomm® Kryo™ 385 CPU, compared to previous generations. This means you’ll be able to deliver faster rendering and longer runtimes between charges.

Not only that, but the Qualcomm Adreno™ 630 GPU visual processing subsystem supports room-scale six degrees of freedom (6DoF) with Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) for doing mixed reality environmental mapping. For example, SLAM can provide wall collision detection in your mixed-reality application, allowing users to engage in rich interactions with their surroundings. Combine that with the system’s advanced motion tracking technology that detects where you look, as well as your body’s movement within a virtual world, and your users may just forget where they are.

The Qualcomm Spectra™ 280 ISP camera complements this visual processing system with 360-degree video capture, 4k video capture at 60hz and 480 fps slow motion capture at 720p while delivering a 10-bit color gamut. Your applications will now be able to capture rich and vivid photos and videos that are almost lifelike, which can further blur the lines between realities in mixed reality environments. This is great if you’re developing an AR application. For example, your AR application could present a UHD viewport that is rendered pretty much in real time, with UHD graphic overlays so crisp that your users may just mistake them for real world objects.

Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with labels

Artificial Intelligence

These days your users demand experiences that are not only immersive but also more interactive and personalized. The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is designed to collect tens of thousands of depth points and detect changes down to 0.125mm apart. With such advanced depth perception at your disposal, your applications can provide features such as accurate depth-based facial recognition or object detection.

Of course, depth perception is only one of the building blocks for smart, interactive experiences. To pull it all together, the Qualcomm Hexagon™ 685 DSP was designed for AI and machine learning tasks and is supported by many common frameworks such as TensorFlow and Caffe2. This potent combination means that you can incorporate high performance AI and machine learning logic into your applications, while utilizing the community of developers behind these frameworks. In addition, the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is designed for advanced voice recognition which allows your application to provide superior accurate voice commands. One potential application for all of this is to allow users to control the app with voice commands, while using AI and machine learning to create rich responses. For example, your app could capture someone’s face through the camera and the user can verbally ask the application - “Who is that?”.


The trend for mobile is heading towards the goal of “always-on, always-connected”. This means users can come to expect long battery life and fast, reliable data connectivity.

Depending on the host device, the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform targets basic runtimes of over a day between charges, and other various runtimes depending on the activity, while the battery can be recharged to 50% in 15 minutes.1 Such battery life means that your applications can perform at high levels for long stretches of time. Knowing the potential runtimes can help you to design experiences that fit within those time frames. For example, you could develop a game with milestones that can be completed within a three-hour time window.

Today’s devices not only perform complex edge computing but also rely increasingly on the cloud. The X20 modem is designed to provide gigabit LTE speeds. Although mobile carriers are still working towards 5G cellular, knowing about this capability can you help you plan for the bandwidth demands of your upcoming mobile applications.


Of course, this all relies on top notch security. The Secure Processing Unit (SPU) of the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is a separate processor from the Kryo 385 CPU complete with its own OS. This means the CPU must authenticate with the SPU during security operations. This is important to developers because it can help prevent viruses from penetrating security information. The SPU also supports a wide range of authentication methods such as fingerprints, iris, voice, facial recognition, passwords etc. that you can provide your users with, adding to rich experiences.


You are probably thinking, ‘with all of these features and benefits, how will the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform perform’?

The Kryo 385 ARM-based processor hails four high performance cores and four energy efficient cores. This will allow operating systems to distribute and balance high priority tasks with background tasks, while achieving the best possible balance between performance and battery life. As a developer, this should support some of your most demanding applications to run with a reduced impact on battery.

We hope this Snapdragon 845 developer preview inspires new features for your applications or new apps and experiences all together. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the launch of the SDKs and other insight on the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform through our blogs and forums.

[1]Charge time based on 0% to 50% utilizing 2017 charging Implementations (September 2016). Actual results may vary depending on device design.