The Android smartphones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform will soon get more frequent updates for their GPUs.
At the heart of the gaming experience in Snapdragon is the Qualcomm Adreno GPU (graphics processing unit.) The Adreno GPU is the part of Snapdragon that creates graphics so you can play games with super smooth motion (up to 144 frames per second) and in HDR (High Dynamic Range).
Late last year, Qualcomm Technologies announced that the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming features will include GPU updateable drivers, a first in the mobile industry. Similar to PC gaming, smartphone users will be able to update their GPU drivers more frequently and take advantage of potential performance and feature gains.
Fast forward to today, Android games on Snapdragon are about to get turbocharged and finally benefit from this feature. Qualcomm worked with Google to create a tool that will help game studios enhance games, called the Android GPU Inspector. This is a new graphics profiling tool that supports Android GPUs, including Qualcomm Adreno. With this new tool, game developers can analyze their games on the Adreno GPU at a detail level that was not achievable before, to help make optimizations to their games.
Game studios can create optimizations and incorporate them not just into their app, but also give feedback to Google and Qualcomm Technologies to enhance the Adreno GPU software driver. Qualcomm Technologies will make a beta driver available to developers so they can test their optimizations quickly on select devices. This Adreno Graphics Developer Driver will be available to select developers. This will allow game developers to suggest enhancements to the driver and for Qualcomm Technologies to implement them even quicker. The final drivers will also be available in the Google Play store on select devices. Consumers will be able to update their Adreno GPU driver just like an app.
Qualcomm says that the Android GPU Inspector can offer a massive boost in game performance. While working with a game partner using the Android GPU Inspector and a Pixel 4 XL powered by Snapdragon, Google was able to discover an optimization opportunity that saved the game 40% in GPU utilization. The optimization delivered faster frame rates for smoother graphics and longer battery life.
Google and Qualcomm Technologies are currently collaborating with game studios on the Android GPU Inspector and updateable GPU drivers for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Samsung Galaxy S10 with more device availability coming later.