The Snapdragon flagship processors are excellent all-around chipsets, with excellent CPU performance, class-leading GPUs, and excellent networking. However, support for the AV1 codec has been missing for several years.
It has now been confirmed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2‘s next-generation flagship SoC, code-named SM8550 (probably the Snapdragon 8), will enable AV1 decoding. A source familiar with the chipset’s spec sheets was quoted by the outlet.
Why do you need the AV1 codec?
The AV1 codec provides higher video quality for the same file size and worse video quality for smaller files. It’s actually 30% more efficient than the H.265 codec. This is especially useful for streaming, as services like Netflix and YouTube already offer AV1.
Qualcomm would not, however, be the first SoC manufacturer to offer AV1 decoding. Since the Dimensity 1000 series in 2020, Mediatek has supported the standard, while Samsung has supported it since the Exynos 2100 series. As a result, Qualcomm would be catching up to competitors in this area.
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The announcement comes just a few months after Protocol claimed that Google was working on a Chromecast with Google TV that would support AV1. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of AV1’s general adoption. Now the codec is being supported by more streaming services and device manufacturers.