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Snapdragon 8cx is Qualcomm's first purpose-built chip for laptops



Image: Qualcomm

Thanks to Windows on the Snapdragon initiative, Qualcomm has been in operation in the laptops processor for about a year now. And while systems such as Asus Nova Go and Samsung Galaxy Book 2 have their share of errors, these laptops showed the potential benefits of ARM-based chips through things such as serious battery life, integrated mobile modem with continuous connectivity, faster wakeup standby and more.

Even with these advantages, both the Nova Go and Galaxy Book 2 processors basically ripped out smartphones and stuck into laptops, which is not really a suitable long-term solution for getting ARM-based silicon in PCs. That is precisely why Qualcomm also prepared its first chip "designed from the ground to the next generation of data experiences" while working on smartphone-derived chips in the systems above. Snapdragon 8cx.

Basic and General Performance [1
9659005] As the 8c in 8cx, Qualcomm's new portable processor has much in common with the new Snapdragon 855 chip that the company revealed yesterday, but in cases like 8cx CPU and GPU, Qualcomm has set Enter the chip for better impact The more forgiving terms and larger batteries are found in laptops compared to the typical phone.

8cx has an eight-core 64-bit Kryo 495 CPU and an Adreno 680 GPU (versus Kryo 485 CPU and Adreno 640 GPU in SD 855), which Qualcomm requirements provide dual performance and 60 percent better efficiency than what you want from a Snapdragon 850 chip (like that found in Galaxy Book 2).

Image: Qualcomm

Thatgod improvement should be a long way to cope with many reviewers concerns (including ours) that today's Windows on Snapdragon machines at best both have a lack of horsepower and the need to handle many applications and programs that are still not running right on ARM.

At 8cx, Qualcomm also doubled the 64 to 128 bit memory while the 7-nanometer architecture of the system provides better overall efficiency thanks to denser chips with lower power supply loads compared to Intel and AMD's current x86 CPUs, currently manufactured by using less efficient 12nm and 14nm processes.

Do not expect to see 8cx in something like a playable laptop, it is currently unclear what kind of support 8cx has for discreet graphics, and even with significantly better performance than previous chips, 8cx will still not have enough computer power to play modern AAA games.

Connectivity and Security

As you expect from a company specializing in mobile chips, 8cx will also have almost the same leading cellular and wireless features as Snapdragon-powered phones, including built-in 4G LTE at speeds of up to 2 Gbps, 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ad wifi and a permanent connection that stays on even when the system goes to sleep.

Here is a picture of a reference design library created by Qualcomm to help showcase 8cx.
Image: Qualcomm

But initially, future Snapdragon 8cx laptops do not support 5G networks by default, as the chip's default configuration has Snapdragon x24 modem instead of Qualcomm's X50 5G modem.

On the security side, on top of having built-in 4G LTE so you do not have to hunt for sketchy wifi networks at the airport or your local cafe, 8cx was also designed to run on Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise, and comes with hypervisor support, remote management and optional biometric login options.

Other Features

Together with potentially much better performance, 8cx also offers things like Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ support, Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, multiple USB 3.1 ports and fast PCI-E internally. One thing that 8cx does not want (at least initially) is support for Thunderbolt 3, which is an Intel-powered interface that is not yet licensed for use in Qualcomm's new chip.

What this means for the future

] With the perception that traditional x86 development has stopped in the hands of Intel and AMD, it may be incredibly valuable to have yet another option for ARM-based alternative, although the benefits of typical Portable buyers are still a bit far out.

Image: Qualcomm

There are already many speculation about Apple at one point in the not too distant future to convert its MacBook line to use its ARM-based A series chips instead of the Intel chips as used today. And with 8cx, Windows machines can prepare for a similar transition, or at least an environment where x86 and ARM-based systems live side by side.

Having said that, Snapdragon 8cx itself is just a part of equation, as Windows continues to suffer for decades of software designed specifically for x86 chips and while Microsoft has made it easier to transfer things to ARM and even redesigned programs like Edge to run native to ARM, there is still a long way to go. Even with the announcement of 8cx today, we probably do not see any actual laptops with Qualcomm's new chip until next fall or summer 2019 at best.


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