Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Adopts Arm V9/s

The CPU performance of Qualcomm’s mid-premium smartphone processor is similar to last year’s, but its capabilities in total make for a substantial upgrade.
Joseph Byrne
Joseph Byrne

Qualcomm’s new mid-premium smartphone processor, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, delivers performance gains over the Snapdragon 778G and 780G, which it replaces. CPU-throughput increases are modest compared with those earlier chips. A more substantial uplift comes in AI processing. Graphics gains are mixed, improving versus the 778G but much less so versus the 780G.

New to Qualcomm’s mid-premium offering are features that enhance platform trust. They include an improved trusted execution environment that employs Arm v9’s “confidential computing architecture,” providing greater isolation for sensitive code. Software runs in a secure realm, isolated from even the OS and hypervisor. Also included is a hardware root of trust and other secure-element functions that enable Android Ready SE, a standard way of securely storing credentials such as an electronic driver’s license.

Overall, the CPU speedup of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 pales against that of its predecessor, but the total package of smartphone capabilities—including mmWave, more DRAM bandwidth, stronger AI, better graphics, and enhanced platform security—is an improvement.

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