AV1 is a next-generation video coding format developed by the Alliance of Open Media Video. It is open and free and improves coding efficiency by about 30% on the basis of VP9/HEVC. AV1 was used to replace Google’s VP9 to compete with H.265/HEVC.
On the PC side, Intel, AMD, and Nvidia have all added support for AV1. Last year, Google also officially required that all TVs that are new to the factory in 2021 and equipped with Android systems must have the ability to decode AV1. On the mobile side, both MediaTek (such as Dimensity 1000) and Samsung (such as Exynos 2200) already support AV1 decoding. But Qualcomm, the biggest player in the field, doesn’t even offer support AV1 decoding for the latest high-end Snapdragon 8 mobile platform, the Snapdragon 8 Gen1. According to Protocol, Qualcomm is planning to add the AV1 decoding function to the Adreno processing unit of the next-generation flagship SoC. The internal code of the chip is SM8550, which will be released as early as the end of this year.
Given that the Snapdragon 888 is codenamed SM8350, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is SM8450, the SM8550 means that it is likely to be the Snapdragon 8 Gen2. Earlier, Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of Qualcomm’s mobile business, said in an interview with AnandTech, due to Qualcomm’s relatively long planning cycle, there is no way to add support for AV1 to chips in the existing product line, but it will be added in due course.