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Rumor | Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series chipsets will not support the AV1 codec until 2023

The 8 Gen 1 lacks AV1 support. (Source: Qiualcomm)
The 8 Gen 1 lacks AV1 support. (Source: Qiualcomm)
AV1 is an emerging video codec increasingly adopted by companies in the content-streaming and entertainment space. They range from Samsung to Broadcom - but not Qualcomm, an OEM that has failed to support this form of decoding even in its top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Now, the company is touted to fix this - in the processor's successor.

AV1 is a relatively new video codec rated to help deliver higher-resolution video with smaller file-sizes. These potential advantages are so important that its adoption has been pushed by players such as Google, which may have impelled OEMs from Samsung and MediaTek to NVIDIA and AMD to bake support for its decoding into their chipsets.

For example, this spec is found in the Exynos 2200 (and the 2100 before it) and the Dimensity 9000 - but not the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, even though the latter has been touted as its most advanced flagship processor by Qualcomm during its late 2021 launch.

This leaves the OEM behind the curve in this respect, and according to Protocol, there it will stay - albeit only until next year. The blog asserts that Qualcomm is now working on AV1 support in the "SM8550".

This internal code-name more than likely refers to silicon that might launch in 2023 (or very late 2022) as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The interim 8 Gen 1 Plus, tipped for a much earlier release to supplant the Gen 1, is also reportedly in the works, but is linked to the code-name SM8475 (whereas the Gen 1 is the SM8450). Therefore, Qualcomm is now slated not to catch up in AV1 terms until the next product cycle.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 02 > Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series chipsets will not support the AV1 codec until 2023
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-02-20 (Update: 2022-02-21)