Snapdragon 850 unveiled: Windows-on-ARM gets a speed and battery boost

Snapdragon 850 unveiled: Windows-on-ARM gets a speed and battery boost

As we reported few days back, Qualcomm today officially announced the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform for Windows 10 Always Connected PCs. When it comes to technology processes, a smaller process leads to a smaller and more power efficient the chip.

Qualcomm also included its X20 LTE modem on the Snapdragon 850, which it says will enable up to 1.2Gbps transfer speeds, and allow about "90 percent of operators to achieve gigabit LTE with LAA (License Assisted Access) technology".

The Snapdragon 850 SoC also contains the Spectra 280 ISP, Hexagon 685 DSP, and Snapdragon X20 LTE modem.

Perhaps, the only Achilles heel for this platform is the Flash Storage, which is more phone-like (UFS 2.x) than PC-like (PCIe) but since it powers "productivity computers" that perform relatively routine tasks, it is probably fine. The difference in naming is mostly to separate the chip options for mobile PCs from mobile phones and tablets, though there are modest performance changes because of higher clock speeds on the Kryo CPU. The new Snapdragon 850 platform can offer a 3X increase in AI performance as well as 25 hours of continuous usage under normal usage conditions. Improved upon the Snapdragon 835, which debuted in notebooks last here, there are several benefits of running a Snapdragon 850 in a laptop, which all necessary details highlighted right here.

For 2018's flagship chipset, then, it's more of what makes Windows 10 on ARM so appealing: battery life and connectivity.

Now, the increase of +150MHz Turbo on the larger cores may not seem like much, but remember, the systems we've seen in-market thus far are all based on the Snapdragon 835. The HP Envy x2, Asus NovaGo and Lenovo Miix 630 all have incredibly impressive battery life, but performance can also be extremely sluggish, and there are software compatibility issues too.

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Microsoft recently updated ARM Windows with 64-bit Edge.

The support for 4K HDR video playback and recording capabilities have gone up big time. Little known to most consumers, Qualcomm's Aqstic and AptX (Wireless) audio features provide excellent sound quality.

There is also support for DSD, an audio format that has 64X the sampling rate of an audio CD disc.

Always Connected PC reference design.

Qualcomm is yet to spill the beans on new hardware, but it has revealed that Samsung will be releasing a Snapdragon 850-powered device later this year. There's a possibility that this device may be a 2-in-1 hybrid.

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