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The Snapdragon 8cx is the first laptop chip developed by Qualcomm



Image: Qualcomm

Thanks to the "Windows on Snapdragon" initiative, Qualcomm has been working on laptop processors for about a year. And while systems such as the Asus Nova Go and the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 have some shortcomings, these laptops demonstrated the potential benefits of ARM-based chips through things like really good battery life, built-in wireless modems with always-on connectivity, and faster wakeup standby mode and more.

But even with these pros, both the processors of the Nova Go and the Galaxy Book 2 were essentially chips that were torn out of smartphones and jammed in laptops. However, this is not a really long-term solution for ARM-based silicon in PCs. That's why while working on the smart phone chips in the aforementioned systems, Qualcomm also prepared its first chip "designed from scratch for the next generation of computing experience": the Snapdragon 8cx.

Fundamentals and Overall Performance [1
9659005] As the "8" implies in 8cx, Qualcomm's new laptop processor has a lot to do with the new Snapdragon 855 chip that the company unveiled yesterday, though Qualcomm in cases like the 8cx CPU and the GPU has set the chip to a better lever The compliant thermal devices and larger batteries can be found in notebooks compared to a typical phone.

The 8cx has a 64-bit 64-bit Cryo 495 CPU with 8 cores and an Adreno 680 GPU (as opposed to the Kryo 485 CPU and Adreno 640 GPU in the SD 855), according to Qualcomm which offers twice the performance and 60 percent more energy efficiency than what you get from a Snapdragon 850 chip (as in the Galaxy Book 2).

Image: Qualcomm

That improving quality should make a major contribution to the concerns of many critics (including ours) that current Windows on Snapdragon machines suffer at best mediocre performance, both due to lack of performance and due to the need to themselves to deal with a variety of programs and apps Do not run properly on ARM.

At the 8cx, Qualcomm has also doubled the memory interface from 64 to 128 bits, while the system's 7-nanometer architecture offers better overall efficiency thanks to denser chips with lower power loads compared to the current x86 from Intel and AMD. currently being produced with less efficient 12nm and 14nm processes.

Do not expect the 8cx to be anything like a gaming laptop, as it's currently unclear what support the 8cx provides for discrete graphics. Despite a significantly better performance compared to previous generation chips, the 8cx still has not enough computer power to play modern AAA games.

Connectivity and Security

As you would expect from a mobile-chip company In addition, the 8cx has nearly the same class-leading mobile and wireless capabilities as Snapdragon-based phones, including 4G-LTE at speeds up to 2Gb / s, 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / Wi-Fi and a persistent connection that stays active even when your system goes into sleep mode.

Here is a picture of a Qualcomm reference design laptop designed to facilitate the presentation of the 8cx.
Image: Qualcomm

However, at the outset, Snapdragon 8cx laptops will not support 5G networks by default because the standard configuration of the chip includes the Snapdragon x24 modem instead of the Qualcomm X50-5G modem ,

As far as security is concerned, the 8cx is not just installed on the integrated 4G LTE device, but also has to search for sketchy Wi-Fi networks at the airport or in your local café. In addition, the 8cx for Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Windows Vista was developed by Enterprise and offers hypervisor support, remote management, and optional biometric login options.

Other Features

In addition to possibly significantly better performance, the 8cx also includes support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ and Bluetooth on board 5.0, NFC, multiple USB 3.1 ports, and internal, fast PCI-E. What 8cx does not have (at least initially) is the support of Thunderbolt 3, an Intel-driven interface that is not yet licensed for use in Qualcomm's new chip.

What this means for the future [19659005] With the perception that the traditional x86 development of Intel and AMD is deadlocked, an option for an ARM-based alternative could be invaluable, even if the benefits are typical for a laptop Buyers are still far away.

Image: Qualcomm

There's a lot of speculation that Apple will eventually switch its MacBook line to the A-Series ARM-based chips in the not too distant future, rather than the Intel chips used today. And with the 8cx, Windows machines could prepare for a similar move, or at least an environment where x86 and ARM-based systems live side by side.

The Snapdragon 8cx itself, however, is only part of the system. However, Windows still suffers from decades of software designed specifically for x86 chips, while Microsoft simplifies porting to ARM and even apps like Edge for native operation on ARM, is still a long way to go. Even with today's 8cx announcement, we probably will not see real laptops with new Qualcomm chips by next fall, or at best in the summer of 2019.


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