While Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 may be the flagship processor for 2018 smartphones, it's been rumoured that the successor for the flagship SoC line would be the Snapdragon 855. According to new reports, the chip is expected to have an NPU (Neural Processing Unit) integrated right into it. The NPU, or Neural Processing Unit essentially handles AI and Machine Learning functions. Huawei’s flagship mobile processor Kirin 970 has a dedicated NPU to handle AI functions. The Mate 10 Pro was the first smartphone to be powered by a Kirin 970 processor. Currently, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor handles all these functions on the main chipset.
Qualcomm may unveil the Snapdragon 855 and the Snapdragon 1000 in December as part of its annual Tech Summit. The Snapdragon 855 will be intended for smartphones, while the Snapdragon 1000 will be intended for Windows laptops and tablets. However, according to tech website WinFuture, both platforms will actually come to market under different names. The chipset giant is separately working on the Snapdragon 1000 processor that will be exclusively designed to power the next-generation Always Connected Windows 10 PCs.
The Snapdragon 855 (codenamed Hana) is being developed internally under the name SDM855, but its name has changed since several months according to third-party documents seen by WinFuture. The website also found several mentions of chips with internal model numbers SM7150 and SM7250, which will used by OPPO (among other manufacturers).