Sunday, January 23, 2022

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is its latest attempt to hit a Windows on Arm home run

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Qualcomm has introduced its latest flagship chip for PCs: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which, because the title implies, succeeds final 12 months’s 8cx Gen 2 mannequin and presents some substantial jumps in efficiency.

The 8cx Gen 3 is the primary chip for Windows computer systems constructed on a 5nm course of and guarantees up to 85 p.c higher CPU efficiency and up to 60 p.c quicker GPU efficiency in contrast to the 8cx Gen 2. Additionally, Qualcomm boasts that its new chip presents “60 percent greater performance per watt over the competitive x86 platform” — though the corporate is notably quiet on which x86 platform its evaluating issues to. Qualcomm additionally touts that the chip helps “multi-day battery life,” though once more, it didn’t present too many particulars.

As one would possibly count on for a main Qualcomm laptop computer chip, a main characteristic on the 8cx is connectivity, with Qualcomm providing help for its Snapdragon X55, X62, or X65 5G modems (relying on what sort of 5G capabilities producers need to supply). Additionally, the 8cx Gen 3 will help Wi-Fi 6 and 6E for once you’re not out and about.

The standard AI enhancements are right here, too: there’s Qualcomm’s Spectra ISP, which guarantees higher autofocus, auto-white steadiness, and auto-exposure for videoconferencing, in addition to noise and echo cancellation options for higher audio.

Additionally, Qualcomm has been touting the facility and battery lifetime of its laptop computer chips because it first introduced the unique 8cx again in 2018; the chips haven’t actually taken off, outdoors of modified variations showing in Microsoft’s Surface Pro X laptops.

And these computer systems that have shipped with Qualcomm’s silicon haven’t made a lot of a dent on the Intel and AMD x86 hegemony for Windows, with gradual developer help and not one of the revolutionary advances that Apple’s personal Arm-based M1-series chips have introduced to its computer systems.

Maybe the 8cx Gen 3 will change that. But it’s laborious not to really feel just like the 8cx Gen 3 isn’t something however a stopgap when Qualcomm is already teasing its subsequent next-generation Windows PC chips for 2023. Those chips, designed by the Nuvia workforce that Qualcomm purchased for $1.4 billion earlier this 12 months, are “designed to set the performance benchmark for Windows PCs” with management in “sustained performance and battery life,” as well as to providing a aggressive processor to Apple’s glorious M-series chips.

In addition to the 8cx Gen 3, Qualcomm additionally introduced a new Snapdragon 7c Plus Gen 3 platform. Unlike its flagship cousin, the 7c Plus Gen 3 is nonetheless constructed on a 6nm course of however guarantees up to 60 p.c higher multi-threaded CPU efficiency and 70 p.c higher graphics than the 7c Gen 2. Like the 7c Gen 2, the 7c Plus Gen 3 is meant for entry-level Windows PCs and Chromebooks, so it’s not fairly as highly effective as the brand new 8cx Gen 3. In addition to the efficiency boosts, although, Qualcomm is additionally including an built-in Snapdragon X53 modem, enabling 5G on Qualcomm’s entry-level laptop computer chips for the primary time.

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