5G in practice, straight from Huawei

5G in practice, straight from Hawaii

The promises are many: a 25% gain in both graphics and computing performance, higher energy efficiency and the long-awaited 5G. This would be a quick summary of Qualcomm's flagship release at the Snapdragon Tech Summit here on the island of Maui, Hawaii. In 3 years of research and development, over 10,000 engineers worked on the design of the company's new high-end processor; Snapdragon 865. According to the manufacturer, the new chip is twice as powerful as its predecessor, the Snapdragon 855, and three times the best processor in the competition.

Numbers, of course, say a lot about a processor, but what really draws attention are the practical tests; demonstrations of all this announced power, which we could closely check here. Alongside market partners, Qualcomm has demonstrated several technologies that are now ready and embedded in the new processor to incorporate Android devices from 2020.

Expected to reach 200 million users next year, 5G deployment promises to be accelerated thanks to new technology compatible with the Snapdragon 865. It's the "Dynamic Spectrum Sharing". As this demo shows, the technology allows 4G and 5G to share the same frequency range simultaneously. This dynamic sharing, which was not possible in other transitions of mobile broadband technologies such as 3G or 4G, should speed up the arrival of 5G for everyone.

In addition to connectivity, another highlight is the artificial intelligence processing of the new chip. With twice the power of its predecessor, the Snapdragon 865 is capable of up to 15 trillion operations per second on the device itself, providing a new user experience - Artificial Intelligence-based functions become virtually instantaneous.

In the demos, two demonstrations of the power of Artificial Intelligence caught our attention. The first shows the speed and accuracy of an application that turns voice into text and, in real time, translates speech from one language to another; including simulating the user's way of speaking. In this other demonstration, the computer vision algorithm is able to apply to the camera image, also in real time, the so-called "semantic filter". Using Artificial Intelligence, the camera understands objects in the scene to provide the best treatment for each part of the image. In this example, the camera differentiates hair, clothing, background, eyes, and skin to apply a specific filter to each part of the image.

With the new Snapdragon, the camera also gets new functions. It all starts with the incredible ability to capture up to 2 gigabits of information per second, which will bring cameras closer to smartphones than professional equipment. This will allow upcoming mobile phones to bring up to 200 megapixel resolution sensors to record video at 8k at 120 frames per second. By the way, that's what this prototype is recording while you are preparing some drinks. On the 8k TV next door, the images shown, believe me, were captured on a smartphone.

Finally, we also had the opportunity to try the new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the screen; 3D Sonic Sensor Max. Now the fingerprint detection area is 17 times larger than the last generation and even allows simultaneous reading of up to two prints at a time. Other than that, we tested it, and the sensor is extremely fast and accurate as well.
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