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Qualcomm's Alex Katouzian unveils the Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm offered up details on its next high-end smartphone chip Wednesday, promising the Snapdragon 845 will provide higher quality video and photo capture and better battery life, among other features. It's set to start showing up in phones early next year.

Why it matters: Because it powers the vast majority of the world's high-end smartphones, whatever features Qualcomm puts into its Snapdragon chips foretell what the next crop of flagship devices will provide.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845 on Tuesday, but provided few details other than that it would be manufactured in Samsung's factories and that China's Xiaomi would be among the early customers.

On Wednesday it went into more detail on the chip's new features.

  • New camera features include better support for portrait-type photos, improved video and images that merge photos and video in new ways.
  • A secure vault is designed to better protect biometric data, passwords and other sensitive data
  • On the AI front, Qualcomm says it is boosting the types of inference that can be done on the device.
  • As for battery, the Snapdragon 845 is designed to improve life when doing demanding tasks like VR and video playback.

Under pressure: Although Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips power most of the world's high-end phones, Apple uses its own processors and Samsung typically uses its own Exynos processors for at least some of its high-end phones. Several of the features are designed to let Android phones better compete with the iPhone, including support for face-unlocking as well as taking portrait photos with a blurred background using a single camera (a la the Google Pixel 2).

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer but picked up a new rival.