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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 is twice as friendly to your battery

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Qualcomm is clearly bent on drumming up hype for its Snapdragon 820 chip by drip-feeding facts, but its latest revelation is a big one. The company has revealed that the Kryo CPU at the heart of the chip is up to twice as power-efficient as the Snapdragon 810, even though it's up to two times faster. While that doesn't necessarily translate to twice the battery life, it does promise significantly better performance without a hit to your phone's longevity.

Part of this leap comes through the use of energy-efficient 14-nanometer FinFET manufacturing and a truly customized 64-bit CPU. However, the real party trick is the 820's use of heterogenous computing, where the chip doesn't have to rely as heavily on its main processor as in past designs. It can ask for the help of the graphics core (the Adreno 530), digital signal processor (the Hexagon 680) and imaging processor (Spectra) in combinations that make the most of what each part can do. Snap a photo, for example, and it'll put all of the above components to work (plus a few more) in relative harmony. That should help the new Snapdragon both reach its peak performance and save power, since it can operate multiple processors in short bursts and quickly shut down those elements it doesn't need. It's not clear just how much these upgrades will translate to real-world improvements, but this definitely isn't a Snapdragon 801-style speed bump.

[Image credit: Eric Reed/Invision for Qualcomm/AP Images]

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