Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 flagship won't actually ship in any phones before early 2016, but the company continues to dole out bits of information ahead of the launch. Today it's talking in very broad terms about the CPU, which is based on a brand-new custom 64-bit architecture called Kryo. Kryo is Qualcomm's official successor to Krait, the CPU architecture used in a wide range of Snapdragon chips from the S4 all the way up to the 805.
The toasty Snapdragon 810 used a mix of off-the-shelf ARM Cortex A57 and A53 CPU cores to bring 64-bit ARMv8 compatibility to high-end phones while Qualcomm finished its own architecture. Kryo, which will initially run at clock speeds up to 2.2GHz, promises to be twice as fast as the 810 while also being twice as power efficient. Some of this is no doubt due to architectural improvements, but it will help that the 820 will be built on a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process—Qualcomm doesn't name its manufacturing partner, but Samsung is the most likely candidate.
The Kryo CPU cores in the 820 will be accompanied by a new Adreno 530 GPU, the first in the Adreno 500-series of products. The GPU will support the latest OpenGL ES, OpenCL, and Vulkan APIs, and Qualcomm says that it will be 40 percent faster and 40 percent more power efficient than the Adreno 430 in the 810. Phones and tablets are such tightly integrated devices that we'll need to see shipping hardware before we can really say how well the Snapdragon 820 performs, but Qualcomm's early numbers all paint an optimistic picture.