Qualcomm has been at the front and center of most major smartphone releases this year, and the trend is only likely to continue with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor. From the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in January to the recent Xiaomi 14 Ultra released at MWC 2024, the chipset has been popping up everywhere you look. Kickstarting every major brand’s on-device generative AI ambitions, the Qualcomm AI chip has taken the possibilities of smartphone computing to the next level since its launch in October last year. With a similar schedule planned again, rumors suggest that a Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 release date has been discussed for October 2024, during their yearly Snapdragon Summit. 

There have not been any major announcements on the specs of the next iteration of the Qualcomm AI chip other than a passing mention of it during the Qualcomm MWC 2024 showcase, but even that was quite enough to set the tech world chirping with excitement about the possibilities.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4

Concept image for Snapdragon 8 Gen 4

Don’t Be Afraid of AI: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Sneaks Up On Us at MWC

Qualcomm CMO Don McGuire used the Snapdragon UK Twitter/X page to share his thoughts on where the AI revolution is headed and briefly mentioned the upcoming chipset in passing. While he did not get into the major details of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 specs or features, he did reveal that we would learn more about the chipset during the Snapdragon Summit in October this year. The event is quite a while away so there’s half a year’s worth of waiting in store, but we’ll likely see a few more details revealed while we wait. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Gets The Oryon CPU

Apart from the potential Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 release date, the biggest news we heard about the chipset was that it was set to receive the Oryon CPU. The Oryon CPU isn’t “new” tech per se, we saw it in the Snapdragon X Elite last year. What makes this news exciting nevertheless is that the CPU was used in the silicon to power entire PCs rather than the much smaller smartphone systems. There has been a lot of back and forth on the performance of the Snapdragon X Elite chip and whether it can exceed the performance of the Apple M3 chips. 

While Qualcomm claimed the processors were 21 percent faster than Apple’s product, some reviews highlighted that the chip was letting the company down in terms of thermal efficiency. Overall, however, the reviews were largely favorable. The arrival of the powerhouse of a CPU on a smartphone could be a major boost to what our phones could become capable of. GSMArena also shed some light on tipster Tech_Reve’s reviews, indicating that the company could fall back on TSMC for making the 3nm-based Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor but a “dual chip sourcing strategy” could be lined up for the Gen 5 edition in 2025.

Oryon CPU

The upcoming Qualcomm AI chip may increase the price of smartphones by quite a bit so we may see fewer adopters of the chip compared to the love the Gen 3 processor received. As per Android Authority, the October 2023 summit had a brief mention of how the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip could involve some cost increases to support the performance boost, so if the company’s predictions hold up, smartphone makers could potentially transfer the cost to the consumers. It’s perhaps a little too early to make predictions on this, but it will be quite unfortunate if a price hike is really in the books. 

Qualcomm AI Chip

The Qualcomm AI Chip Could Take the Shape of a Snapdragon 8s Gen 2 Chipset First

If the wait till October seems too long, you might be interested in knowing that a Snapdragon 8s Gen 2 processor could be released before the Gen 4 set. The rumors on this are a little older as we’ve been hearing talk about the SM8635 chip for a couple of weeks now. The word out is that the chip could feature a 2.9GHz ARM Cortex X4 core with the graphics relying on an Adreno 735 GPU. Additionally, it seems the potential “Snapdragon 8s Gen 2 chip” or the “Gen 3 Lite” could have a 1.7 million AnTuTu score which is quite a big deal. Leakers have also guessed that the company could be working on an SM7675 which could very closely be matched to the SM8635 chip. 

It seems a little unusual that Qualcomm would put out two identical chipsets so close to each other with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 release date also on the books. The rumors suggest that the two are very similar in specs but considering their diverse clientele, there could be phone makers who pick between these depending on what works best for their more mid-range offerings on the market. 

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, when it finally gets here, will likely still have its foot firmly down on the AI pedal as the gen AI phenomenon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’ll have to see what else the Qualcomm AI chip, fitted with the Oryon CPU, is capable of on release.