Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 821 for next wave of high-end phones

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) announced the speedier successor to its Snapdragon 820 processor.

The Snapdragon 821 promises a 10 percent increase in speed over the previous-generation chip, running as fast as 2.4 GHz, as well as improved application performance and power savings. The company was quick to note that the new model isn't designed as a replacement for the 820 but rather as a complement to the company's lineup of Snapdragon 800 offerings.

The 820 powers more than 115 smartphone and tablet models and has been included in most high-end Android handsets this year including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Xiaomi's Mi5, LG's G5, HTC's 10 and the Sony Xperia X. 

"And because the Snapdragon 820 helped improve the user experience for mobile imaging, virtual reality, battery life, and connectivity speed and reliability, all the updates we've included in Snapdragon 821 will help keep devices powered by Snapdragon 800 premium-tier processors at the top of people's shopping lists into the foreseeable future," Qualcomm said in a prepared statement. "We're excited to tell you more about just how the Snapdragon 821 will help set a new bar for smartphones, tablets, mobile VR head mounted displays and other new devices. You can expect commercial devices powered by the 821 in the second half of 2016."

Indeed, Qualcomm continues to look to the emerging IoT market as smartphone sales slow worldwide. The company earlier this year teamed with Intel and some other tech heavyweights to form the Open Connectivity Foundation in an effort to unify an increasing fragmented market, and in May 2015 it said 20 million cars on the road were using its chips for broadband connectivity. The company's chips were also used to connect 120 million home devices last year.

For more:
- see this Qualcomm announcement

Related articles:
Qualcomm expands support for cellular-based IoT technologies
Intel, Qualcomm lead new effort to tackle Internet of Things fragmentation
Qualcomm unveils new IoT solutions, says it already powers 20M connected cars

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