Qualcomm: a partnership with Leica to improve cameras on Android?

by Kelvin
Qualcomm au Mobile World Congress

As the first devices using the Snapdragon 888 processor hit the market, rumors are already circulating about its successor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that will power premium devices in 2022.

In an article published this week, our colleagues from Android Authority relay a publication from the Winfuture.de site about the development of this successor to the Snapdragon 888. According to the article, this new high-end SoC should be unveiled in December . And currently, Qualcomm is reportedly already testing samples of this component, whose model number would be SM8450. Qualcomm’s engineers would test the SoC with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.

A partnership with Leica?

But the most interesting is that according to the same source, with this next generation, Qualcomm could bring significant improvements in terms of photo and video. It is sometimes forgotten, but the quality of the photos and videos of a device does not only depend on the sensors, but also on the SoCs which are responsible for the processing.

And according to the Android Authority article, Qualcomm would develop a new module called Leica 1 (code name) for its future SoC SM8450. For the moment, we have few details on the subject. But the name of the module suggests that Qualcomm may well work with Leica to develop this model, which will be dedicated to cameras. However, it is also possible that this reference to Leica is only a code name and that no partnership with this company is foreseen. Moreover, as Android Authority notes, for the moment, even the source of this rumor is hesitant to comment on this subject.

In any case, if Qualcomm announces a partnership with Leica to improve photos on premium Android devices, it would be an important novelty. Indeed, generally, Qualcomm mainly focuses on increasing the performance of the CPU, GPU and processing of information on AI. For example, the Snapdragon 888, engraved in 5nm, offers a 25% improvement in CPU performance, and a 35% increase in GPU.

Otherwise, it should also be noted that rumors are also circulating about the development of a Qualcomm SoC which would be called Snapdragon 888 lite, which could equip high-end devices, but more affordable in 2021, and which could not have connectivity to 5G.

Photos and videos, more and more important for manufacturers?

This rumor is circulating at a time when more and more manufacturers are trying to improve the performance of their devices in terms of photos and videos. For example, Vivo announced a partnership with Carl Zeiss which will allow it to strengthen its R&D to improve its photo modules.

And recently, OnePlus formalized a partnership with Hasselblad. For a period of at least three years, OnePlus will be able to take advantage of the expertise of this photo specialist (whose equipment was used to film the first steps of Man on the Moon) to boost the cameras of its devices. (from OnePlus 9 which will be presented on March 23).

Note also that HMD (Nokia) has been working with Carl Ziess for years. And Huawei, for its part, has a long-standing partnership with Leica. Moreover, this collaboration has been rather successful for the Chinese manufacturer, which is today considered the king of photo and video on mobile.