Qualcomm today unveiled its next-generation processor platform for Always Connected PCs- meet the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform.
The Snapdragon 8cx is a 7nm PC platform, beating Intel’s processors by a long run. The 8cx processors will come in devices along with the existing Snapdragon 850, with the former expected to support high-end devices.
The always-connected PC "delivers freedom," Sanjay Mehta, senior vice president of Qualcomm's compute products group, said Thursday during a keynote at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. "Freedom to be connected anywhere. Freedom to realize your PC is going to last for days in a secure and connected manner."
Here are the highlights:
- New Kyro 495 processor, the fastest ever built by Qualcomm. 2x more transistors, and 2x memory bandwidth for faster performance. It’s 3.6x faster than the Snapdragon 835
- A larger cache than previous platforms allowing for faster multi-tasking
- New Adreno 680 GPU designed to offer 2x boost in graphics performance
- Supports two 4K external displays at a time
- 2nd gen HDR playback
- New AI engine with Hexagon 685 DSP, combined with enhanced support for Alexa and Cortana with Qualcomm’s Aqstic technology
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ tech support for faster charging of your device
- Snapdragon X24 LTE modem bringing speeds of up to 2Gbps
- Support for Windows 10 Enterprise for the first time, as well as Pro and Home
Qualcomm also has been working with Mozilla to optimize the Firefox browser for the Snapdragon platform with an ARM64 version. It plans to launch that "soon." The Snapdragon 8cx processor also will support Amazon's Alexa digital voice assistant, as well as Microsoft's Cortana.
The Snapdragon 8cx packs an eight-core Kryo 495 CPU, with larger L2 Cache, L3 Cache, and system Cache. The eight-core CPU complex uses the same modified Arm A76 and A55 cores as the Snapdragon 855, but the PC processor puts them in a more traditional Big.little 4x4 arrangement and loads them up with cache. The four performance cores double L2 cache to 512 Kbytes, and all cores have shared 4-MByte L3s and a shared 6-Mbyte L4 or system cache. The 8cx also drives the performance cores at higher frequencies than on the 855. The processors use 2133 MHz LPDDR4x memories.Qualcomm claims that the new CPU has performance comparable to a 15-watt Intel U-series processor,according to Qualcomm. But except to get that power at a fraction of power consumption - Qualcomm’s chip will draw just 7 watts. And if you compare against Intel own 7-watt Y-series processor, like the one in Apple’s new MacBook Air, Qualcomm believes its processor is 50 percent faster.
The integrated AI engine lets users perform intensive queries. It also features Qualcomm's new Adreno 680 GPU and doubles the memory interface from 64bit to 128bit wide. The GPU is twice as fast as its predecessor and 60 percent more power efficient than the GPU in the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. The GPU’s graphics are impressive: 2X more transistors, 2X more memory bandwidth, and the latest DX12 APIs. The chip also supports 4K HDR video playback at 120 frames per second for streaming content.
Qualcomm says that the the 8cx devices will run multiple days on a single battery charge. And it uses Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4+ technology.
It also supports second-generation USB 3.1 over Type C, letting users connect up to two 4K HDR monitors to their device.
This Snapdragon 8cx won’t come with built-in 5G, and it doesn’t support Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem either. Qualcomm says it’ll have a 5G solution later. In the meanwhile, it’s got Qualcomm’s new X24 LTE modem baked in for 2Gbps speeds (max).
Qualcomm also said it's been testing getting Chromium ported over to ARM, which would mean better performance for a large number of apps.
The chipset also comes with Qualcomm's Aqstic suite of audio technologies like codecs, smart amplifiers and software to offer high-def Bluetooth wireless audio, as well as support voice assistants. You'll also be able to stream HiFi audio thanks to Qualcomm's aptX technology.
Qualcomm plans to ship the new Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform on Always Connected PCs sometime in late 2019.
Currently, there are no Windows computers equipped with 7nm chips. Intel, the world's biggest PC chip provider, is still struggling to move to 10nm. AMD has developed a 7nm GPU.
With Microsoft continuing investment on ARM, it’s clear ARM is the future of Windows.Specifications
- CPU Cores: 8x Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU
- CPU Bit Architecture: 64-bit
- Process Technology: 7 nm
- DSP Technology: Qualcomm Hexagon 685 DSP, Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology
- Cellular Modem
- Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem
- LTE Category: LTE Category 20
- Downlink Features: 7x20 MHz carrier aggregation, Up to 256-QAM, Up to 4x4 MIMO on five carriers, Full-Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO), Maximum 20 spatial streams
- Uplink Features: Qualcomm Snapdragon Upload+, 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation, Up to 2x 106Mbps LTE streams, Up to 256-QAM, Uplink data compression
- Peak Download Speed: 2 Gbps
- Peak Upload Speed: 316 Mbps
- Supported Cellular Technologies: LTE FDD, LTE TDD including CBRS support, LAA, LTE Broadcast, WCDMA (DB-DC-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA), TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE
- Wi-Fi Standards: 802.11ad, 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
- Wi-Fi Spectral Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 60 GHz
- MIMO Configuration: 2x2 (2-stream)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Global Emergency Services Support: Assisted GPS, OTDOA (LTE-based positioning)
- Satellite Systems Support: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS
- RFFE: Qualcomm RF Front-End solution, Qualcomm Adaptive Antenna Tuning, High-power transmit (HPUE)
- USB 3.1
- Image Signal Processor: Dual 14-bit ISPs, Qualcomm Spectra 390 image signal processor
- Megapixel Support: Up to 16 MP dual camera, Up to 32 MP single camera
- Video Capture: Up to 4K HDR video capture
- Video Playback: Up 4K HDR decode at 120fps
- Codec Support: H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), VP9
- Video Capture Resolution: 4K Video Capture for Ultra HD Premium Displays (4K@30fps), Slow Motion video capture (720p@480fps)
- Video Software: Rec. 2020 color gamut video capture, Up to 10-bits per color video capture
- Maximum On-Device Display Support: Up to 4K
- Maximum External Display Support: Two 4K Displays
- Qualcomm TrueWireless Technology, Qualcomm Broadcast Audio technology, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology, Qualcomm aptX audio technology
- Qualcomm aptX playback support: aptX Classic, aptX HD
- Audio Playback Support: Surround Sound playback
- Speaker protection
- GPU Name: Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU
- API Support: DX12
- Memory speed: 2133MHz
- Memory Type: LPDDR4x, 8 channels
- SSD: NVME SSD
- UFS: UFS 3.0