At MWC Shanghai, Qualcomm has announced that its flagship Snapdragon 855 processor’s SPU unit (Security Processing Unit) has received an EAL-4+ certification (more info) from the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), a German independent security audit entity.
EAL-4+ has potential implications for customers, including for phones already released to the market. Existing Snapdragon 855 handsets with a single SIM slot could technically become multi-SIM because EAL-4+ enables handset makers and carriers to use that functionality if they so desired. There isn’t an official plan for doing it, but technically, nothing prevents it.
Consumers can expect to see more useful applications in the future because the security level opens the door to all kinds of payment, e-wallet, transit cards, and encryption which previously required an external chip which was often not integrated into consumer handsets because of the extra cost.
As always, the integration of an additional function inside the main processor reduces cost, power while increasing the internal space available to designers.
At present, Snapdragon 855 is the first mobile SoC to have been granted such a certification, and this further consolidates the grip that Qualcomm enjoys in the high-end Android segment. There is little doubt that this advance will trickle-down in lower-cost segments, but also other markets served by the same technological foundation, such as Always-Connected PCs.
We have extensively covered the Snapdragon 855 features and performance as it powers today’s top phones such as the Galaxy S10, LG G8 and OnePlus 7 Pro, just to name a few. Snapdragon 855 phones also happen to be some of the best mobile camera phones on the market, as shown by our Mobile Camera IQ Benchmark.