Qualcomm has revealed that its next flagship Snapdragon chip is coming on November 30. However, you may not be able to relate the upcoming mobile processor with the previous generation. That is because Qualcomm is going for a name change. The chipmaker said it is ditching the three-digit numbering system for a more streamlined and catchy name for its Snapdragon processors. Not just that, Qualcomm is also tearing off Snapdragon into a standalone entity.
Ahead of the Snapdragon Tech Summit that will kick off on November 30, Qualcomm has made some important announcements related to its Snapdragon mobile platform. Going forward, Snapdragon chips will no longer have "Qualcomm" in their name. For instance, the next chipset may be called just the Snapdragon 898. The suffix 5G will also go away since 5G connectivity is ubiquitous across chips and it does not make sense to warrant that by putting 5G in the name every time.
But those changes are only the tip of what Qualcomm has planned for its chipsets - and it is a little confusing at the moment. That is because Qualcomm will remove the three numbers from the names its Snapdragon processors. For years, Qualcomm has used this system to denote how powerful a chipset is and what category it belongs to. For instance, the Snapdragon 480 belongs to the entry-level while the Snapdragon 888 is the high-end chip. The first digit of the three numbers gives that away. Sometimes there is an alphabetical suffix, too, such as in the Snapdragon 768G, where G stands for a slight bump in graphics performance and usually caters to phones focused on gaming.
With the new naming system, Qualcomm is escaping the inevitable. Its flagship chipset is already at the 888 number, so if it continues with this system, it is going to run out of combinations of digits soon. So the new naming scheme makes sense.
Qualcomm said it will shift to "a single-digit series and generation number, aligning with other product categories," starting with the upcoming 8-series flagship. The exact name is not clear, but this system is not entirely new. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors for PCs use this naming scheme already. For example, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 or the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2. This naming scheme looks fresh but has a problem at least logically.
The high-end Snapdragon processors come once a year - two, if you count the Plus variant. The rest of the processors arrive multiple times a year, sometimes parallel. That may make it hard to identify what generation the new chipset belongs to. Anyway, Qualcomm must have thought it through before going ahead with the decision. So, let us just wait for the announcement on November 30.
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