Qualcomm does the bare minimum for the new Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC

Enlarge (credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has announced the mid-cycle update to the Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 888 Plus. As usual, this is the exact same chip as the previous version that hit the market in February, just with a faster clock rate. Those looking for a serious—or even noticeable—upgrade will be disappointed. This is the smallest “Plus” upgrade Qualcomm has ever done.

Qualcomm says the Prime CPU core—one of the chip’s eight cores—can now hit 3.0 GHz, which is a five percent improvement over the 2.84 GHz of the base chip. After the Prime core (which handles things like foreground processing and main thread duties), the three “medium” and four “small” cores remain unchanged.

The company also mentioned that the “AI Engine” is now 20 percent faster. This is a nebulous measurement of how the entire phone—CPU, GPU, DSP, and software—processes AI tasks. It’s not a single concrete object you can point to that has been clocked higher, and good luck tying overhyped AI performance to any actual performance improvements in the real world.

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