Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor launched, will power always on, always connected laptops in 2019
The third and the last day of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit was all about the "always on, always connected" laptops. Qualcomm has announced a new chipset that it hopes to see in Windows laptops, and possibly in the Chromebooks, in 2019. The chipset is called the Snapdragon 8cx, and it has been developed from the ground up for laptops. In a way it is Qualcomm's first laptop-class processor, with its performance estimated to be close to Intel's U-series 15W processors.
Similar to the newly announced mobile chipset -- Snapdragon 855 - the new laptop platform will also comes with Qualcomm's X24 LTE modem. This is the second laptop-specific processor that Qualcomm has announced. Last year it had introduced Snapdragon 850, which will continue to exist along with the 8cx. But unlike the 850, which was a souped up version of the Snapdragon 845, the 8cx has been specifically designed for larger form factor of laptops and hence offers performance that is in different league.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8cx is 3.5 times faster than the Snapdragon 835 chipset. It is also 2 times faster than the previous generation Snapdragon 850.
Qualcomm claims that with the Snapdragon 8cx chipset, the company is taking its "biggest performance leap, ever." The new chipset for laptops not only focuses on "peak performance" but also offers best of everything else - best in class performance, best in class battery life, and best in class connectivity. Unlike the Snapdragon 855 mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 8cx doesn't come with integrated 5G support, but Qualcomm does promises that the chip will have a 5G solution later.
Explaining the performance increase and all the enhancements that the Snapdragon 8cx brings, Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile for Qualcomm Technologies said, "With performance and battery life as our design tenets, we're bringing 7nm innovations to the PC space, allowing for smartphone-like capabilities to transform the computing experience... As the fastest Snapdragon platform ever, the Snapdragon 8cx will allow our customers to offer a powerful computing experience of multi-day battery life and multi-gigabit connectivity, in new thin, light and fanless design for consumers and the enterprise."
Key highlights of Snapdragon 8cx chip
- The chipset is made using 7 nanometer fab process.
-The Snapdragon 8xc, Qualcomm says, is engineered to support always on, always connected experiences in thin and light form factors. In other words, in 2-in-1 tablets and laptops.
-The Snapdragon 8cx comes with new Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU, which Qualcomm says is the most powerful GPU ever designed by the chip maker.
-The new Snapdragon 8cx compute platform uses new chip architecture for better battery life in laptop.
- The Snapdragon 8cx features the new octa-core Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU, which the chip maker says is the fastest Kryo CPU ever designed and built by Qualcomm Technologies.
- The new Kryo 495, Qualcomm says that it has a larger cache than previous compute platforms and allows for faster multi-tasking and increased productivity for users.
- Snapdragon 8cx is the first Snapdragon compute platform for PCs to support Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4+ technology.
- The Snapdragon 8xc is also integrated with Qualcomm's aptX HD technology, which will basically help users listening to music at the highest audible quality when using a wireless device.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 8cx increases the performance of the device "while using a fraction of the power required by competing solutions, allowing for multi-day battery life and always-on connectivity when consumers need it most." Additionally, the all new Snapdragon 8cx also marks the first time a Snapdragon platform is ready for Windows 10 enterprise customers. "This gives IT managers the tools to do more and stay secure as enterprises move to harness the power of the cloud to help reduce the complexity of managing today's modern IT device environment," explains Qualcomm.
Quick Charge 4+
The Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology is said to be designed in a way to deliver fast charging for users who are always on the go. Additionally, the Snapdragon 8cx also comes equipped with Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology which includes advanced audio codecs, smart power amplifiers and a suite of advanced audio and voice software technologies. "This technology suite allows PCs built on the Snapdragon 8cx platform to deliver high definition Bluetooth wireless audio, and further increases the accessibility and choice of voice assistants like Cortana and Alexa for consumers using their PCs," Qualcomm explains.
Snapdragon 8cx powered PCs coming in 2019
As for the availability, Qualcomm has announced that the Snapdragon 8cx is currently sampling to customers and is expected to begin shipping in commercial devices in Q3 of 2019.
Disclaimer: The reporter's travel and stay for this event in Maui, Hawaii have been arranged by Qualcomm