Qualcomm has previously developed some ho-hum chips for Windows 10-based, always-connected PCs. But this time, it means business, with its first 7nm Snapdragon 8cx (Compute Extreme) notebook slot that promises significantly greater performance than its predecessors.
The company introduced first connected PC support with Snapdragon 835, and last year modded the Snapdragon 845 to build Snapdragon 850 for Windows 10. However, 8cx is the first chip designed specifically for PCs.
The company introduced first-time PC support with the Snapdragon 835 mobile processor in 201
The new chip has improved power core built with 7nm technology, so expecting improved performance and greater battery life, compared with previous generation 10nm processor. The processor has a VP9 and H.265 hardware decoder on board that will save battery life while watching videos.
The new Snapdragon platform has some great features like dual 4K display support, enhanced crypto security and enhanced placement features.
While the new chip shares similar components with 855 – designed for phones and tablets – the biggest change is in the graphics department. Snapdragon 8cx has a powerful Adreno 680 GPU, compared to 855's older Adreno 630. The company claims that the new chip gives twice the graphics performance to its predecessor. In addition, the DirectX 12 graphics API support has bumped in.
It also has an X24 modem for LTE support with up to 2000 Mbps download speeds. Theoretically, it can also support 5G with some minor modifications.
The chip also has a Hexagon 690 DSP, which can support either a 32-megapixel camera or two 16-megapixel cameras. While photography is not so important for laptops, it can enhance video calling or AR capabilities. It will also help with AI-based tasks like Face Detection.
The company said that the chip will support all three variants of Windows 10 platforms: Home, Pro and Enterprise. Furthermore, Firefox announced this week that they bring a native ARM64 version to PCs, which will ensure better performance than the current Windows app.
Qualcomm has not yet announced any hardware partnership, but we can safely assume that we will see a device or two next year. While we do not yet see the reality of this new chip, reports suggest that it is comparable to an Intel processor i5 processor.
With this, ARM-based computing sees finally going somewhere. Apple is rumored to work with an ARM-based Mac for 2020, so it will be interesting to see if these devices can take over Intel and AMD's team in the portable market in the near future.
Published December 7, 2018 – 07:18 UTC