Qualcomm Upgrades Always Connected PCs With New Snapdragon 8cx Platform

Posted on December 6, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 10 with 14 Comments

Qualcomm today unveiled its next-generation processor platform for Always Connected PCs. The company today unveiled the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform, it’s high-end processor platform that will power the next-gen PCs.

Snapdragon 8cx is the world’s first 7nm PC platform, beating Intel’s processors by a long run. The company’s new 8cx processors will come in devices along with the existing Snapdragon 850, with the former expected to support high-end devices.

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 hopes to ship the new Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform on Always Connected PCs sometime in Q3 2019.

The new upgrades are massive gains for Qualcomm on the PC, and Intel has a ton of catching up to do. With Microsoft continuing investment on ARM, and other developers (like Mozilla, which is porting Firefox to ARM), it’s clear ARM is the future of Windows. And yes, Qualcomm is really coming for Intel’s business.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Qualcomm Upgrades Always Connected PCs With New Snapdragon 8cx Platform”

  1. jaredthegeek

    I have been holding on for a while, I am still using my very aging Surface 4 4/128 LTE. I don't need a ton of computing power and the battery life is very appealing to me. This chip in the Surface Go body size would be a fantastic casual computing device.

  2. skane2600

    It's not at all clear that "ARM is the future of Windows".

    When I read "2x more transistors" I'm reminded of the 1960s transistor radios that embossed in the plastic case the number of transistors the radio had. As was the case for the radios, the number of transistors in a processor doesn't really tell you the relative value of the device in performing its intended purpose. In the case of Windows, the primary purpose is running Win32 apps. We'll have to see how this new chip performs relative to Intel devices.

  3. wp7mango

    I would imagine this is the reason why Surface Pro 6 was only an evolutionary upgrade this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some new Surface family device powered by this high end processor in 2019.

    Looks like 2019 is shaping up to be a very interesting year!

  4. SupaPete

    i look forward to when the arm chip using devices can fully emulate all 64 bit windows desktop apps and games, too, also fully support opengl, directx and vulkan running ones (in well running emulation at least).

    Until then they have at best the value of any ARM tablet to me but not more, so something i'd totally use for more consumption focussed use cases rather than trying to run any desktop stuff on them and then each time it is a gamble what it can run or not.

    But while it is in that stage of at best being on ARM tablet usability, it better doesn't cost more than those or even just the same because, well, i already have an iPad and Android tablets for that use case and those have way more and better mobile apps.

    So something i'd buy on top better either has proper desktop app support or kicks it out of the park with something else seriously tempting.

    Some want to predict over and over for years that ARM chip using devices will replace Intel or AMD chip using ones, but the reality is until they can run all the same stuff (and run it well), there is little to no reason for most people to buy those over intel or arm using devices. Most people who want an ARM tablet already have one or several. Most people still using an Intel or AMD chip using device (next to the arm devices they have) have those intel and AMD devices usually for things they can not do on mobile os or mobile chipset. Mainly run desktop apps and games in a . full fledged desktop OS.

    I don't want to talk it all down, good they increase performance and features each time so stepwise it gets closer in hardware capabilities for basic tasks. But they also better get onto getting 64 bit desktop app and opengl, vulkan and direct x using desktop apps emulation support going, else, yeah, still no go for replacing a desktop OS running laptop/desktop for most people who are using those still.

    • skane2600

      In reply to SupaPete:

      I never understood all the excitement over Windows on ARM. Getting the price/performance equal to Intel is going to be a challenge if it happens at all, but I think it would also need to go beyond that and be significantly less expensive for the same level of performance to get non-techies to embrace it.

      Sometimes I think the excitement for WoA among tech folks was just that they were sick of Intel with the same (somewhat) emotional way that they were sick of Microsoft.