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article imageNext year's phones will last five hours on five minutes charging

By James Walker     Nov 17, 2016 in Technology
Qualcomm has taken the wraps off its upcoming Snapdragon 835 processor, the chip in many of next year's flagship smartphones. It comes with support for Quick Charge 4.0, a new version of the standard that offers five hours charge in five minutes.
Qualcomm is partnering with Samsung to develop its next-generation Snapdragon chip. The 835 will be based on Samsung's 10-nanometer FinFET process, shrinking the die size for greater efficiency and performance. Compared with the current 14nm process, 10nm tech offers an up to 30 percent increase in area efficiency. This equates to 27 percent higher performance or up to 40 percent lower power consumption. In short, next year's phones will be faster and significantly longer lasting.
Aside from the headline numbers, Qualcomm is currently saying little about the 835. It will replace the current Snapdragon 820 series, updated with the 821 earlier this year, representing Qualcomm's new brand flagship. The company said the chip has already entered production and will be making an appearance in phones in the first half of 2017.
"We are excited to continue working together with Samsung in developing products that lead the mobile industry," said Keith Kressin, Qualcomm senior vice president of product management. "Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow’s mobile devices."
While the chip itself remains shrouded in secrecy, Qualcomm has been talking about one of its chipset's key features. The company is developing a new version of its Quick Charge fast charging tech for the Snapdragon 835. According to Qualcomm, Quick Charge 4.0 will give you five hours of use from just five minutes of charging. Compared with Quick Charge 3.0 on the Snapdragon 820, the new version is up to 20 percent faster and up to 30 percent more efficient.
Qualcomm has updated its proprietary INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage) algorithms to include real-time thermal management. This adjusts the charging rate depending on the temperature of the environment, optimising speed and battery longevity. It accompanies Qualcomm's existing safety features that continually monitor voltage, current and temperature to prevent over-charging or supplying charge too quickly.
"As mobile devices become more capable and feature-rich, people tend to use them more. That’s why consumer demand and awareness for fast-charging solutions is now at an all-time high," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Quick Charge 4 addresses that need by providing up to 50 percent battery charge in roughly 15 minutes or less, so you don’t have to spend all day chained to your charging cable."
Quick Charge 4.0 is fully compliant with the USB Type-C specification, unlike its predecessor. It also adheres to Google's recently published rules for Type-C charging. It threatened to ban fast charging systems that did not meet the Type-C spec, potentially ending Quick Charge on future Android phones. That's no longer a concern as Qualcomm's proprietary system now complies with the standards for safer charging over USB-C.
The Snapdragon 835 with Quick Charge 4.0 will be available in flagship phones from some of the biggest names in the industry from early next year. The first devices are likely to be shown off at the CES technology fair in late January. The use of the 10nm process on 2017 devices will directly benefit consumers, offering greater performance without sacrificing an all-day battery life.
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