Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 850 platform, boosts "Always Connected" Windows 10 PCs

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 is a processor built with laptops in mind The Snapdragon 850 is Qualcomm's first chip built for Windows PCs
Oscar Goodwin | 06 June, 2018, 02:50

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 850 processor, which will power the next generation of always-connected Windows 10 devices.

Qualcomm says that the new chip will bring a 20% battery life boost too (up to 25 hours of continuous usage), as well as a 20% increase in Gigabit LTE speeds (up to 1.2Gbps in theory), and 30% faster graphics. Qualcomm projects a 30 percent increase in CPU and GPU performance, which seems entirely reasonable in both cases given what we know about the platform and underlying CPU architectures. As the Snapdragon 850 is meant to be used in devices bigger than a smartphone, it can run at higher clock speeds without overheating.

A point of interest to note is the lowered licensing requirements prompted by the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem.

It was also confirmed during the press event today that Samsung is going to be the first OEM that gets to use the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform.

We'll see the first Windows 10 on ARM devices built on the Snapdragon 850 hitting the market later in 2018. The new chip promises to provide high fidelity HD sound thanks to Qualcomm Aqstic and aptX audio.

Qualcomm is leaning into the auxiliary features of the new chip with the launch, including the wide array of audio technology.

In the realm of laptop-specific features, there's really not much to go on aside from the fact that Qualcomm is now promising native support in Windows 10 for ARM64 applications via the 64-bit Win32 SDK. It doesn't completely rewrite the current situation, and I expect we will still find the improved performance to be lacking when compared to Intel, especially when software emulation is utilized.

Sprint has said that it plans to offer its customers free unlimited data in 2018 with AutoPay on Qualcomm Snapdragon Always Connected PCs from Asus, HP and Lenovo.

Qualcomm is yet to spill the beans on new hardware, but it has revealed that Samsung will be releasing a Snapdragon 850-powered device later this year.

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