Qualcomm doubles its investment in Microsoft's Windows platform. With the company's Snapdragon silicon, which can be found on a variety of Android smartphones and tablets, Qualcomm is introducing its second generation of premium PC processors with always connected connectivity at the IFA in Berlin.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G computing platform will be Qualcomm's second system-on-a-chip architecture for Windows 10 devices to support 5G mobile broadband connectivity.
“Remote working is the new reality and more and more companies want to connect their employees quickly and securely. This increases the need for always-on, always-connected PCs that are thin, light, and truly mobile, and are equipped with lightning-fast 5G cellular and Wi-Fi devices. Fi 6 connectivity, ”said Miguel Nunes, Qualcomm's senior director, product management, in a statement.
In essence, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 platform makes many of the same promises as the first generation Snapdragon 8cx, but improves energy efficiency and performance by generations.
For users who are used to working with multi-display setups, the architecture upgrade also includes support for two 4K displays at 60 Hz, which makes the platform different from traditional laptops that run on the x86 architecture from Intel and AMD become more competitive. Qualcomm's existing chipsets reside on devices like Microsoft's Surface Pro X, which uses a custom ARM processor that was jointly developed with Microsoft.
According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G offers 50% more system-wide performance and battery life than competing solutions. Qualcomm's own measurement data showed that the new platform had an 18% better overall system performance and a 39% better productivity per watt than the 15-watt Core i5 processor of the 10th generation from Intel.
However, the company did not provide any data on the specific improvements the second generation platform offered over the original 8cx, nor was any comparative data available for Intel 11th generation processors.
Qualcomm's ARM processors also provide support for artificial intelligence. A.I. Qualcomm stated in a press conference that eye contact during video conferencing and improved cybersecurity through faster detection of threats can always be shown. The chipset supports cameras up to 32 megapixels, HDR video recording and playback with up to 4K resolution, virtual surround sound audio with noise cancellation technology for clearer calls, and support for two external 4K monitors.
"With Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G, users don't have to sacrifice performance or durability for connectivity or security," says a press release that promises several days of battery life. In essence, the 8cx platform is designed to take over the Intel Project Athena Ultrabooks.
Integrated mobile broadband support can be added in conjunction with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G modem. These chips also have Wi-Fi 6 support.
Qualcomm announced that new commercial devices with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G platform will be available later this year. At the start, Qualcomm's platform will compete with the new 11th generation mobile processors from Intel. The biggest complaint with the original 8cx is poor app performance. Hopefully Qualcomm and Microsoft have fixed the slow performance of having to emulate traditional Windows programs to better compete with the next generation of Mac computers with custom Apple silicon.