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Qualcomm’s Next Chip Improves AI and Gaming on More Affordable Phones – CNET


Qualcomm has been on a roll introducing new chips with on-device generative AI, bringing the next hot technology to smartphones even when they aren’t connected to mobile networks. The company’s next silicon is for phones priced below the top-tier iPhones and Samsung Galaxys, but are still powerful enough to run large language models and powerful AI applications.

The new Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3 is an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 that launched last November, which itself made a splash arriving as Qualcomm’s second mobile chip with on-device generative AI. Generally, the Plus chip versions are midyear improvements released for phones that need extra power and capabilities.

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The 7 Plus Gen 3 improves on its predecessor with 15% better CPU and 45% better GPU performance. It’s also the first in the 7-series to support Wi-Fi 7 with the high band simultaneous tech for better connectivity, supports up to 200-megapixel camera sensors and enhances its suite of gaming enhancements with upscaling. 

But it’s curious to see Qualcomm announce a new chip that conceivably overlaps with others it’s recently released — not just the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 that debuted four months ago, but the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 announced earlier this week. Both the latter and the 7 Plus Gen 3 have performance capabilities below the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip but are meant for lower-priced phones that can also benefit from generative AI.

There are subtle differences between the chips, mostly in the hardware. For instance, the 8S Gen 3 chip has slightly higher performance, gaming features like ray tracing and audio capabilities like the Aqstic Speaker Max Technology that the 7 Plus Gen 3 doesn’t have. The 3S also has AI-enabled features in its X70 5G modem that the 7 Plus Gen 3 doesn’t have in its X63 5G modem. 

The 7 Plus Gen 3 will arrive on phones from OnePlus, Realme and Sharp phones that will be announced in the coming months.

Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.

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