U.S. Galaxy S23 may match Exynos models in YouTube battery tests on AV1 codec support

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U.S. Galaxy S23 may match Exynos models in YouTube battery tests on AV1 codec support

The last major holdout on Google’s free AV1 video streaming codec – Qualcomm – is reportedly adding support for the frugal compression algorithm that requires less bandwidth to stream video with the same quality as before. The U.S. Galaxy S22 Ultra model, for instance, offers no native AV1 streaming support.

That AV1 support may be coming as soon as the Galaxy S23 early next year, tips Qualcomm’s Protocol entertainment newsletter. According to its sources in the chip designer, the first Qualcomm processor with AV1 support has the internal codename SM8550 and is expected to be announced towards the end of 2022, while the first devices with it are expected in 2023.
That sounds suspiciously like Qualcomm’s typical flagship Snapdragon chipset release timeframe and, indeed, given that the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the Galaxy S22 models is denoted internally as SM8450, the SM8550 that would potentially support the AV1 streaming codec could only be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the Galaxy S23 chipset.

The Adreno graphics processing subsystem will finally support native AV1 decoding then, for the first time in the history of Qualcomm’s flagship chipset, as Google now requires devices to include support for its frugal codec if they want to stream YouTube videos in high 4K definition. Ditto for Netflix, though popular streaming services like Disney+ or HBO Max are still in the exploratory stage regarding AV1.

Samsung’s Exynos 2100 in the S21, and the Exynos 2200 processor now in the global S22 models, already have AV1 codec support baked in which could explain the difference in battery test results in YouTube streaming tests between the Snapdragon and Exynos versions of Samsung’s venerable handsets.

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