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Snapdragon 855 processor for 5G phones revealed

Qualcomm has  revealed the latest version of its Snapdragon mobile chip for smart phones at the third Snapdragon Summit event in Maui, Hawaii.

The new chip, the Snapdragon 855, will support multi-gigabit data speeds over the 5G networks.

It will also ship with an updated neural engine, for AI-related tasks, and improved gaming capabilities.

Starting in 2019, Android phone makers will start shipping new devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which will be the first chip to support 5G.

Because of Qualcomm’s dominance in the mobile space, particularly in the United States, the Snapdragon 855 will appear in most major flagship phones in 2019.

Samsung and Verizon jointly announced Monday the companies would sell a 5G Smartphones in the first half of 2019. Verizon’s 5G network currently exists in only a small handful of cities. AT&T also has 5G networks up and running in just seven cities.

“When we get to exactly this time of year one year from now … we will see every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem, their flagship across all US carriers will be a 5G device,” Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon told CNET in an interview Tuesday at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. “Every Android vendor is working on 5G right now.”

So far, Qualcomm has only said that the chip will provide “up to three times the AI performance compared to the previous generation mobile platform,” and it will add a new dedicated computer vision processor (handy for intelligent cameras). “It will recognize who and what you’re capturing,” says Qualcomm Snapdragon boss Alex Katouzian.

Apple reportedly won’t offer a 5G iPhone until 2020. The company previously relied on Qualcomm for the wireless chips for its devices, but it has worked with Intel over the past couple of years because of a copyright licensing battle with Qualcomm.

Offering 5G could give Samsung, OnePlus and other Android vendors an edge over Apple. The technology promises to significantly boost the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. It can run between 10 and 100 times faster than your typical cellular connection today. It’ll also boost how fast a device will connect to the network with speeds as quick as a millisecond to start your download or upload.

On Tuesday, Amon provided a list of hardware companies working with Qualcomm on 5G devices. It listed Asus, Fujitsu, Google, HMD, HTC, InSeeGo, LG, Motorola, Netgear, NetComm Wireless, OnePlus, Oppo, Samsung, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Sony, Telit, Vivo, WingTech, WNC, Mi and ZTE.

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