Photo Credit: Qualcomm
Qualcomm on Thursday expanded its portfolio of silicon powering Always On, Always Connected PCs by introducing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 compute platforms, at its Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is specifically designed for premium, ultra-slim fanless laptops that require both performance and battery efficiency. The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 on the other hand is aimed at entry-level Windows laptops and Chromebooks. In addition to the new Snapdragon chips for notebooks, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform for handheld gaming devices. It also partnered with Razer to unveil the first Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit as a reference design for developers.
Devices based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will launch in the first half of 2022, Qualcomm said. The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit, on the other hand, is now available for developers.
Qualcomm claimed that the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the world's first 5nm platform for Windows PCs and Chromebooks. The new chip is also touted to deliver an up to 85 percent generational performance uplift and up to 60 percent better performance per watt over the “competitive x86 platform.” Additionally, it is claimed to have three times higher artificial intelligence (AI) performance over the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 that was launched in September last year.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 includes a Kryo CPU and a Qualcomm Adreno GPU. The company has not revealed the exact models, though. It, however, does claim that using the new GPU, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 supports gaming at full-HD along with up to 120fps frame rate. It is also claimed to be optimised to let users play games up to 50 percent longer than the competing platforms.
Qualcomm has integrated its Hexagon processor along with the Qualcomm Sensing Hub for machine learning processes. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also has a new Qualcomm Spectra ISP that is claimed to provide improved camera start-up time, allowing users to start a video conference up to 15 percent faster than the previous generation. Further, there is a new 3A solution to offer autofocus, auto white balance, and auto exposure. The chip also has the Qualcomm Noise and Echo Cancellation technology for an improved video conferencing experience.
To enhance video conferences, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also supports up to 4K HDR camera quality and up to four distinct camera sensors.
The chip has the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System for 5G connectivity and offers up to 10Gbps of peak download speed. Manufacturers can also pick the Snapdragon X55 or Snapdragon X62 modems. You will also get Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E as well as Bluetooth v5.1 support.
Qualcomm has enabled the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 to support Microsoft Secured-core PCs. There is also a camera security framework with support for Windows Hello login and a dedicated Computer Vision processor for continuous authentication. The latter is claimed to enable the system to automatically restrict access when a user leaves their machine.
The overall combination on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is rated to deliver up to over 25 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Based on the 6nm process, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is designed for low-cost laptops and Chromebooks. The chip is claimed to deliver an up to 60 percent faster CPU performance and up to 70 percent faster GPU performance uplift from the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2. It also comes with a Qualcomm AI Engine that is claimed to deliver AI performance advancements of up to 6.5 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS). Further, it introduces 5G connectivity to the entry-level segment using the integrated Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system.
The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 also comes with the FastConnect 6700 to offer Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E with speeds up to 2.9Gbps. There is also support for Bluetooth v5.2.
Qualcomm has enabled support for Windows 11 on the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 to bring the latest Windows experience to the masses. The chip also has an integrated Qualcomm Spectra ISP with support for up to three cameras at a resolution of 22-megapixel or a single camera of up to 64 megapixels. There is also 4K HDR video recording support.
The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is specifically designed for mobile gamers, who want to play Android games, content from cloud gaming libraries, and stream games from their home console or PC — alongside accessing Android apps. It is equipped with an Adreno GPU to enable 144fps frame rate and 10-bit HDR support. The chip also has Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. Gamers can also get 5G support through the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1.
For an enhanced experience, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 includes Snapdragon Sound technology. This is claimed to provide a low-latency and high-quality audio output. The chip also has support for AKSys for precise touch using built-in controllers across different games, the company.
The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 also has multi-screen support, along with the ability to tether to an XR viewer via USB Type-C. The device powered by the platform can also work as a companion controller to a 4K TV.
Alongside the Snapdragon G3x chip, Qualcomm tied up with Razer to bring the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit that uses the same chip to help developers build newer experiences. The device comes with a 6.65-inch OLED display with full-HD+ resolution and 10-bit HDR support. It also includes a 120Hz refresh rate.
The Developer Kit also has a 5-megapixel webcam with two microphones for allowing gamers to stream their games or capture their expressions while playing their favourite games. There is also 5G as well as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E support. Additionally, there are four-way speakers along with Snapdragon Sound to provide an enhanced audio experience.
“Together, Qualcomm Technologies and Razer will lead the way with new and innovative solutions that push the boundaries of fidelity and quality available in portable gaming, transforming the way these games are experienced,” said Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, in a statement.