After dominating the smartphone market, Qualcomm is looking forward to taking on the Windows computer industry. In a recently held Snapdragon summit in Hawaii, the company has announced their first purpose-built chipset for laptops. The new chipset gets the Snapdragon 8cx moniker and is a successor to the previously showcased Snapdragon 850. The Snapdragon 850 was a just a tweaked Snapdragon 845 which is a mobile chipset. However, the Snapdragon 8CX is designed to meet the requirements of a high-end Windows computer.
The Snapdragon 8cx comprises of Octa-Core Kryo 495 CPU’s and Adreno 680 GPU. Both CPU and GPU are integrated into a single chip which provides better multi-tasking performance and highly efficient graphics memory bandwidth. The latest Snapdragon 8cx is manufactured using 7nm FinFET technology. Therefore, it will be more power efficient than other chipsets like AMD and Intel.
Qualcomm addressed that the “cx” suffix in the Snapdragon 8cx stands for “compute” and “extreme”. According to the company, the Adreno 680 GPU can easily handle dual 4K HDR displays and it will have hardware acceleration for 4K HDR video playback at 120fps. For high-speed internet connectivity, the Snapdragon 8cx also accommodates the Snapdragon X24 Modem. Theoretically, it can support download speeds of up to 2Ggbps and uploads of up to 316 Mbps.
The Snapdragon 8cx being a complete system on a chipset also gets Bluetooth 5.0, NVMe SSD support and fast charging support. It has a built-in Hexagon 685 DSP (Digital signal processor) which will enable support for voice assistants like Cortana.
ARM is a company that designs CPU cores which are used by other companies to develop their chipsets as per their needs. Unlike Intel’s X86 and AMD 64, ARM cores are designed with efficiency and space conservation in mind. Following are the benefits of using an ARM chipset on a PC:
Better Battery-Life: As the ARM cores were first intended for mobile devices they are highly energy efficient. Using them in laptop computers can offer a very good battery backup. The previously demonstrated Snapdragon laptops offered up to 24 hours of battery backup.
Compact Size: As Qualcomm CPU’s are much smaller in size than their Intel and AMD counterparts. Their temperatures can be kept under control using a passive CPU cooler like a copper tube. In simpler terms, Snapdragon laptops can do away with clunky CPU coolers and save up on some space making the laptop more portable and easy to carry.
All in all, the Snapdragon 8cx seems like a very promising chipset. Sadly, the first devices featuring it will only make their way into the market in late 2019.