Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC powers pretty much every recent high-end phone that's not branded with an Apple logo. Qualcomm wants to hang onto that dominance with a minor mid-cycle update called the Snapdragon 821. This SoC promises a clock speed increase of 10% over its predecessor, a boost that the company says is good for clock speeds up to 2.4GHz. Qualcomm also promises lower power consumption from the new chip.
We haven't had the opportunity to perform a Snapdragon 820 deep-dive, but Anandtech has. The Snapdragon 820 is made up of four Qualcomm Kryo custom CPU cores. One pair of those cores runs at 2.2GHz, while the other, more power-sipping set runs at 1.6GHz. The chip also includes an Adreno 530 GPU, the Hexagon 680 DSP, and an integrated X12 LTE modem capable of download speeds as fast as 600 Mbps. The chip is fabricated on a 14-nm process. We'd expect similar specs on the Snapdragon 821 aside from its higher clocks. Qualcomm says its latest high-end chip will be available in consumer hardware in the second half of this year.