No, Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 won't ''double your battery life''

Echo-chamber churnalism obscures Qualcomm marketing "messaging"

Qualcomm is proud of its new Snapdragon 820 SoC. So proud, in fact, that it's making a bold claim: That the system-on-a-chip is up to twice as power efficient as its previous high-end offering.

Well, given that the previous SoC was the 810, that's perhaps not saying much. A key reason why Qualcomm is having trouble competing at the high end at the moment is because of the power and heat issues with the 810. So the 820 can't come soon enough.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll see devices built on the 820 any time soon. Also unfortunate is the ridiculous morphing of Qualcomm's very clearly-stated efficiency claim into something far more hyperbolic and eye-catching.

In IT Blogwatch, it seems certain bloggers have problems with comprehension and/or facts.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Joshua Ho laughs at the thought of a cooler Snapdragon:

Today, Qualcomm announced a number of details in the Snapdragon 820, specifically about their Kryo...a custom CPU core design.

The quad-core Kryo CPU in Snapdragon 820 will reach up to 2.2 GHz, and that the SoC will be manufactured on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process [probably] the 14LPP process, which will give up to 10% transistor performance improvement. 

Qualcomm is claiming up to a 2x increase in performance and up to a 2x increase in power efficiency.  MORE

It's about time, as Kevin Tofel seems to say:

Qualcomm outlined the final piece of its Snapdragon 820 puzzle:..Kryo is Qualcomm's 64-bit processor that works with the company's Adreno 530 GPU and Hexagon 680 DSP as part of the Snapdragon 820...system-on-a-chip.

This isn't a new approach for Qualcomm. Previously, the company designed its Krait CPU core [which] found its way into the Snapdragon 800, 801, and 805 chips. 

In 2015, however, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 was built using the standard ARM core as the company was still developing Kryo. [So] Qualcomm...faced some criticism about its 810 chip not being thermally efficient [and] reports of devices overheating.  MORE

So Qualcomm's Mark Shedd loads the marketing gun: [You're fired -Ed.]

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor has been purposefully designed to provide innovative user experiences for premium-tier mobile devices. [It's] designed to handle increasing computing requirements, while...using less battery power and remaining cooler than ever. [It] achieve[s] previously unattainable performance and power savings.

Kryo, our first custom-designed 64-bit quad-core CPU. ... Customization means being able to meet the needs of consumers without compromising on performance or battery life. ... you can expect up to 2 times the performance and up to 2 times the power efficiency when compared with the...810 processor.  MORE

But somehow, that bold claim became farr bolder in Farrha Khan's head:

Qualcomm's next Snapdragon will double your device's battery life.

Unfortunately, Qualcomm hasn't revealed when we can expect to see the next-gen chip in our phones and wearables.  MORE

And so the churnalist echo-chamber repeats the lie. Here's Claude Rivera:

The new Snapdragon processor promises double the...battery life.  MORE

And again, Abhimanyu "Papa Shango" Ghoshal:

The new Snapdragon processor promises double the performance and battery life for mobile devices.

[It] will allow for twice the performance and battery life of the Snapdragon 810, thanks to a custom built CPU core.  MORE

And yet again, Surur Davids:

14 nm Snapdragon 820 promise to double battery life next year.

[It] will offer up to double the...battery life.  MORE

OK, so obviously there's a world of difference between an SoC that's "up to 2x as efficient" and an entire phone getting "double the battery life." For starters, the 820 isn't going to make today's huge displays suck any less power, amirite? Anyway, Anshel Sag clarifies how the 820 is so much more efficient:

Part of the Snapdragon 820’s stated power savings also comes from the company’s new Symphony System Manager which is a...scheduler for all the different processors on the SoC. Qualcomm says [it] will help the SoC’s different processors, CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, etc. to work more closely together in ways that improve performance and reduce power. 

Some of these benefits can come from deciding which loads belong best on which processor.

More API support for the Snapdragon 820 and improved efficiency may make it more reasonable to put certain tasks on the new Hexagon 680 DSP rather than on the CPU or GPU. Additionally, the new Adreno 530 GPU may be more appropriate for certain tasks like OpenCL compute.  MORE

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.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon