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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 820's new Hexagon DSP for always-on sensors, image processing

Mark Hachman | Aug. 25, 2015
Qualcomm's drip-drip of Snapdragon 820 details rolls on with the Hexagon 680 DSP which will monitor step tracking and improve low-light photos.

The same extensions can also be used to intelligently interpret video, known as computer vision, as well as improve the performance of virtual-reality or augmented-reality displays and applications powered by the phone.

Finally, Qualcomm estimates that the new DSP can cut the power required to monitor sensors by about three times compared to the previous generation Hexagon DSP. Android L support is built in.

Qualcomm has a bit of image repair to do: the Snapdragon 810 was dropped earlier this year by one of its biggest customers. Qualcomm never named the customer, but it was widely understood to be Samsung, which went with an in-house processor for its Galaxy S6 smartphone. It remains to be seen whether the Snapdragon 820 will end up being the "Intel Inside" of next-gen smartphones, however. 


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