Struggling Qualcomm wrote this ludicrous PR for Snapdragon 820

Chipmaker takes PR hyperbole to the next level

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Calgary Reviews

The Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm's upcoming SoC, will be available soonish. But the company is making some frankly bizarre claims for the chip.

Apparently, new phones based on the device will offer "DSLR-quality photography." Cue loud guffaws from anyone who's actually used a DSLR for more than five minutes. Also, I guess we're not supposed to take the claim of "zero shutter lag" literally, right? And as for "flexible hybrid autofocus framework," well...

In more sensible news, the new SoC is faster, uses less power, and supports some interesting APIs. It could also have some new applications outside of mere smartphones and tablets.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers roffle their waffles. Not to mention: What's so great about a DSLR, anyway?

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Here's the story: Andrew Cunningham didn't sit on it: [You're fired -Ed.]

Qualcomm is officially starting to talk about...the Snapdragon 820...GPU and the image signal processor (ISP), though information about the custom Kryo CPU core and other parts...will need to wait. ... It looks like a respectable generational leap in both performance and power usage.

The Snapdragon 820...will be the first of Qualcomm’s chips to come with the next-generation Adreno 500-series GPUs. The 820 will ship with the high-end Adreno 530. ... Qualcomm says...530 improves performance by roughly 40 percent while reducing power consumption by 40 percent. ... The Snapdragon 820 supports the HDMI 2.0 standard, which...provides enough bandwidth to connect external 4K displays at 60 frames per second.

The lens and the sensor get most of the attention when you’re talking about smartphone cameras, but it’s important to have a good image signal processor. ... The 820’s ISP supports a total of three cameras simultaneously, two on the back and one on the front, and it can take pictures “up to 25 megapixels at 30 frames per second with zero shutter lag.” ... It promises better autofocusing and image quality and has dedicated hardware for “radial noise reduction and color artifact correction.” And improved HDR algorithms attempt to more intelligently brighten and reduce the noise levels. ... On paper, it all sounds pretty good.  MORE

Lee Bell chimes in with the GPU angle:

Qualcomm has announced its next-generation Adreno GPU architecture, promising major improvements to performance, power efficiency and user experience. ... The new GPUs are the successors to the Adreno 4xx family.

They OpenGL ES 3.1+ Android Extension Pack, Renderscript, as well as the new OpenCL 2.0 and Vulkan APIs [with] 64-bit virtual addressing, allowing shared virtual memory and efficient co-processing with 64 bit CPUs...and new rendering, compositing and compression techniques.

Devices based on Snapdragon 820...are expected to be available in the first half of next year.  MORE

So Larry Dignan shoots up:

The upshot here is that mobile chipmakers are prepping for the next-gen user experience, which will revolve around computer vision, graphics and virtual reality with a low power footprint [with] DSLR-like photography.  MORE

And Shara Tibken cuts to the chase:

Qualcomm promises its new chip will improve your next smartphone's camera while keeping it alive longer.

Devices...won't get as hot and batteries won't drain as quickly. ... Smartphone cameras will be able to focus in on subjects faster, preventing blurry photos. The display will show colors that are more true to life. 

When taking photos at concerts...where something is brightly lit but surrounded by a dark background, performing onstage won't look so washed out. And skin tones will look more natural.  MORE

Meanwhile, Aaron Tilley lamps the fox of "adjacent markets," such as VR and cars:

After a rough year...Qualcomm hopes to bring the 820 into virtual reality space, where it could enable VR headsets that don’t require users to have them constantly hooked up to a PC to handle all the intensive graphics processing.

Another area Qualcomm hopes the 820 could play prominently outside of phones is in cars. ... Qualcomm thinks that the image processing technology could prove helpful for handling object recognition from all the camera sensors getting equipped on cars these days. The ability for a car’s computer to recognize objects accurately is vital for self-driving capabilities.

The Snapdragon 820 will also come with a new [ISP], the 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra [which] Qualcomm claims...will provide “DSLR-quality photography” in the next generation of smartphones at 25 megapixels.

Qualcomm’s most recent [SoC] hit a few snags in the past year. [It] suffered from...overheating problems. And one of its biggest customers, Samsung, dropped Snapdragon in favor of its internally-produced application processor. ... Qualcomm found its sales and stock price plummeting this year. Qualcomm’s shares are down nearly 16% year-to-date.  MORE

And Finally...
What's so great about a DSLR? Ranjit explainifies

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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