Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus goes official with faster CPU, enhanced AI performance

Highlights
  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus has been officially announced.
  • It is an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 888 with its Cortex-X1 core running at 3.0GHz.
  • The Snapdragon 888 Plus also upgrades the AI Engine’s performance from 26 TOPS to 32 TOPS.

Qualcomm’s newest high-end flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 888 Plus, has been officially unveiled. Much like its predecessors, it only offers an incremental upgrade over the regular Snapdragon 888. It is quite surprising that Qualcomm went ahead with the Snapdragon 888 Plus launch, given the global semiconductor shortage. It has little more to offer other than a slightly faster CPU clock speed and better AI performance. The latter seems to be Qualcomm’s focal point for the Snapdragon 888 Plus, as it has increased the 6th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine’s performance from 26 TOPS (trillion operations per second) to 32 TOPS. Other than that, everything is pretty much identical to the Snapdragon 888.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus specifications

As mentioned above, the Snapdragon 888 Plus offers higher CPU clock speeds, but only on one of its cores. The ‘Prime’ Cortex-X1 core is now clocked at 3.0GHz (as opposed to 2.8GHz on the Snapdragon 888. The Adreno 660 GPU remains largely untouched, which is a tad disappointing. Qualcomm could easily have pushed it a bit further to cement its place on the top of the gaming smartphone stack. Everything else remains largely the same, including its X60 5G Modem and Spectra 560 ISP.

Qualcomm says that we should be seeing smartphones running the Snapdragon 888 Plus in Q3 2021. It’s hard to tell exactly which smartphone will debut the hardware first, but if leaks from earlier are true, that will likely be the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is due to be launched sometime in August. Honor has confirmed that the Magic 3 flagship will rock the new Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset. However, Xiaomi (or any other Chinese OEM for that matter) could step in and steal Samsung’s thunder. Xiaomi, Motorola, Vivo, and ASUS are also planning to launch phones with the SD888 Plus chipset.