Today, Qualcomm is announcing the new Zeroth Platform, which is enabled by the Snapdragon 820 SoC.

While Qualcomm is avoiding any real disclosure of the SoC at this point, we do know that the Snapdragon 820 will be built on a FinFET process, which could be either TSMC’s 16nm or Samsung’s 14nm process. In addition to all of the improvements that the move to a new process brings, Qualcomm is finally introducing their custom ARMv8 CPU core, named Kryo. Unfortunately, there are no real details here either, but given that there’s only one architecture named it’s likely that Qualcomm is moving away from big.LITTLE with the Snapdragon 820.

The final detail regarding Snapdragon 820 is that it will begin sampling in the second half of 2015, which should mean that we can expect it to be in devices some time either at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. Ultimately, the fact that Qualcomm has come up with a custom ARMv8 CPU architecture in such a short time continues to show just how quickly Qualcomm can respond to changing market conditions, something that we first saw with the Snapdragon 810.

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  • MikhailT - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    Holy crap, I pressed submit before proof-reading first

    64-bit apps are using anywhere from 1-30% more, that's it.

    ARMv8 is more than just 64-bit support but rather wider register set, simplified and modernized ISA, and so on.
  • eanazag - Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - link

    I'm not knocking Apple for switching to 64 bit prematurely. My gripe is that when they did they didn't raise the internal RAM beyond 1GB. They finally did for the Air 2, but no others. I have Apple devices and would like to see more RAM for Safari. I am a heavy tab user and Safari loves its RAM - otherwise it is frequent page reloads and app crash.

    The big thing that the 64 bit makes possible is that it is now feasible to make a desktop or laptop based on an ARM CPU for Apple. Have they done it yet? No. It could open up for an in between priced device from iPad to MacBook Air. I would expect a device like that to ship with 4-8 GB of RAM. A 32 bit Apple ARM device would suck for desktop/laptop usage.
  • tipoo - Friday, July 24, 2015 - link

    The binaries use 30% more RAM, not the whole app, which includes things like image assets and sound. The binaries are relatively small.
  • JoshHo - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    I agree that Qualcomm should've never fell behind to begin with, but their ability to recover and push out new products is somewhat impressive.
  • levizx - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    That's bull. You seriously think it's even remotely possible to design a CPU core in under 2 years? A late 2015 release for its in-house 64-bit SoC was ALWAYS the goal for Qualcomm, 810 is just a stop gap solution and didn't take much time away from their primary design team as there's virtually nothing to design.
  • Krysto - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    Apple did it with Swift and Cyclone.
  • Frenetic Pony - Sunday, March 8, 2015 - link

    Apple bought some magic assed CPU design house and are feeding them nothing but Meth and Speed to get them to put out a significant new design change every year :P
  • eiriklf - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    Are you saying they were making a 32 bit replacement for krait?

    It seems quite clear to me that they had to be planning to replace krait in about a year from now regardless of what apple was doing.
  • dragonsqrrl - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    "Are you saying they were making a 32 bit replacement for krait?"

    That was the rumor in late 2013, and apparently it was fairly far into development too.
  • name99 - Monday, March 2, 2015 - link

    I think they operated under the same delusion as Intel when it came to x64.
    Both QC and Intel imagined that, because they were the king, they could control the speed of change, in such a way as to best meet their schedules (which meant, among other things, dragging out the transition as long as possible).

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