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Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 With X20 LTE Modem Unveiled for Always On, Always Connected Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 With X20 LTE Modem Unveiled for Always On, Always Connected Windows PCs
  • Snapdragon 850 said to provide 30 percent gain in CPU and GPU performance
  • The new SoC succeeds the Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • It is meant for ultra-portable Windows 10 laptops

Qualcomm on Tuesday at Computex 2018 unveiled the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. The Snapdragon 850 SoC has been designed for the Always On, Always Connected Windows PC category that was unveiled by Microsoft and Qualcomm last year alongside the such first PCs, meant to deliver long battery life and constant cellular connectivity. It succeeds the 10nm first gen Snapdragon 835 SoC that powered the last generation of these PCs, with Qualcomm calling it the 10nm second gen Snapdragon 850. The company also announced it has partnered with Samsung, with the latter announcing it would make an Always On, Always Connected PC as well. More details like availability can be expected to be announced soon.

The Snapdragon 850 is said to provide a 30 percent increase in performance over the Snapdragon 835 despite being on the same process, using the Kryo 385 CPU clocked up to 2.95GHz compared to the Kryo 280 CPU on the older SoC clocked up to 2.6GHz. Qualcomm adds that it will provide a 30 percent increase in graphics performance as well, with the Adreno 630 GPU more powerful than last-generation's Adreno 540 GPU. It is boasted to deliver 20 percent faster Gigabit LTE speeds, going from 1Gpbs on the Snapdragon 835 to 1.2Gbps. It's also touted to provide a 20 percent boost in battery life, up to 25 hours. The new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem - Cat.18 LTE - also supports nearly all global operators for Gigabit LTE, by reducing the Listed Assisted Access (LAA) licensed requirement to only 10MHz. There is also a 3X increase in AI performance, the company added, with the Qualcomm AI Engine on board.

Qualcomm also revealed that the Snapdragon 850 provides high-fidelity audio support built-in, with Qualcomm Aqstic and aptX audio features. The SoC will be able to provide virtual surround sound, native DSD format, high dynamic range and ultra-low THD+N, as well as aptX HD support. Aqstic support can be supported on both USB Type-C and 3.5mm jack. It also is touted to provide better 4K video capture capabilities.

The company also added that the Snapdragon 850 supports the Microsoft Machine Learning SDK, helping developers build AI features that can be powered by the SoC. When combined with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, the Snapdragon 850 will support a 64-bit version of the Microsoft Edge browser


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