Qualcomm announced the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, a next-generation mobile chip set for a 35% performance boost over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a new cognitive ISP for better photos and videos, and more efficient AI-based tasks. Coming to smartphones in 2023. But it’s also a game-changer for mobile games: ray tracing.
Unveiled during Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Summit, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip will soon be in Android phones from brands including Xiaomi, Honor, Asus, Samsung, Sony, and more over the next few months. With the newly introduced Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, you can expect to see hardware-accelerated ray tracing in real time.
Ray tracing on mobile is nothing new, as Samsung’s Exynos 2200 chip brought AMD ray tracing back in 2021. Now Qualcomm is introducing its latest Snapdragon chip with the same treatment, as Oppo is showing off the advantages it brings to mobile gaming.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 delivers next-level mobile graphics
With ray tracing now enabled on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, you can expect more realistic visuals when gaming on mobile. It means more accurate light behavior, reflections, shadows, and lighting.
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That’s not all. With an upgraded Qualcomm Adreno GPU that delivers up to 25% faster performance and a Qualcomm Kryo CPU that delivers up to 40% more power efficiency, games will run smoother and for longer. Furthermore, Qualcomm is introducing “the world’s first mobile-optimized support for the Unreal Engine 5 Metahumans Framework on Snapdragon”, which means that games can contain “realistic human characters”.
During the summit, Jin Tian, Senior Director of Graphics Products at Oppo, talked about the chip’s ray tracing performance, which appears to take 90% of the workload while still being five times more efficient compared to its own ray tracing software.
From the short demo shown, ray tracing brought “accurate multi-reflection on curved surfaces,” sharper shadows, many realistic reflections in water “both on and off screen,” refraction is water, and multiple dynamic light sources that glow in dark areas.
You can check the differences between turning on ray tracing and turning it on during a live broadcast.
We’re sure to get a hands-on experience of what ray tracing can do in mobile games when Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphones from Oppo, Xiaomi, Honor, Samsung, and more debut in early 2023 (maybe even sooner) as in Dec). In the meantime, you can check out some of the best gaming smartphones, including the RedMagic Pro 7 and Poco F4 GT.