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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 doubles down on cameras and AI

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 doubles down on cameras and AI
From Engadget - December 6, 2017

Immersion basically means the ability to capture and render the world around you at high resolutions and quality for more realistic results. The Snapdragon 845 will feature an Adreno 630 graphics processor and Qualcomm's Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) which we previewed last year. The company's graphics lead, Tim Leland, explained that the ISP allow for "Ultra HD premium" video capture at 60 frames per second. Qualcomm believes the Snapdragon 845 will be so good at photography that the phones powered by this chip will score above 100 on DxOMark.

Video and image processing features

With Ultra HD color capture, Leland says cameras can capture more color volume than before, whereas mobile photography in the past few years have focused on recording higher resolution. The Spectra ISP collects more color data with a combination of three methods - moving from 8-bit to 10-bit color, expanding its color gamut from Rec 709 to Rec 2020, and increasing luminance (the brightness of an object).

That's a lot of jargon to parse through, but basically, the chip can process more shades of the same color for more depth, more colors and different levels of brightness for the same hue. That allows for more nuance in image quality.

Spectra ISP will also bring about improvements to low light footage thanks to new software that enables multi-frame noise reduction at using 60 16-megapixel images per second. Having that much data helps the processor make more informed decisions on what specks in your picture are noise and what are parts of the photo to keep. Snapdragon 845 will also provide motion compensated temporal filtering as an image stabilization method, which compares a frame in a video to the frames before and after it to figure out where an object's outline should be.

As for XR (extended reality), Leland said the Snapdragon 845 will enable devices to achieve world-scale tracking, which is similar to what HTC's Vive headset can do. Previously, the Snapdragon 835 enabled 6-DoF tracking, so your hands could be detected across pitch, yaw and roll (axes of movement). Now, you can move about a room freely and still be detected within your virtual environment.

Artificial intelligence improvements

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