Qualcomm believes we need less powerful Windows 10 on ARM PCs

Qualcomm surprised the market today with the announcement of a new range of Snapdragon processors optimised for use in laptops and PCs.

Unlike earlier ventures, which aimed at delivering more power, the new range of Snapdragon 7c and 8c processors are designed to lower the cost of Windows 10 on ARM PCs.

The Snapdragon 7c and 8c now join the previously announced Snapdragon 8cx, delivering cellular connectivity and long battery life at various price points, allowing partners to design always on, always connected PCs for a wide array of consumers. In addition, the Snapdragon 8cx enterprise compute platform brings connected security software and secured-core PC support for modern enterprises looking to bring mobility to their workers.

“Qualcomm Technologies’ innovation in smartphones and connectivity placed the power of your desktop PC in your phone, now the phone is returning the favour by bringing thin, light, always-on, always connected, all-day battery life experiences to your PC,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The mobile-first consumer wants an experience on par with a smartphone, and we have the innovation, the inventions and the technology to enable this experience for customers across price points.”

The Snapdragon 7c compute platform upgrades entry-level devices bringing a 25% boost in system performance and up to twice the battery life vs. competing platforms plus lightning-fast connectivity via the Snapdragon X15 LTE modem. The Octa-core Qualcomm® Kryo™ 468 CPU and Qualcomm® Adreno™ 618 GPU deliver responsive performance with incredible battery life in the entry-tier. In addition, the Qualcomm® AI Engine delivers over five trillion operations per second (TOPS) of performance for the latest AI accelerated experiences offered by Windows 10. A first of its kind in the entry-level PC that consumers want to experience.

The advanced 7nm Snapdragon 8c Compute Platform boosts performance up to 30% over the Snapdragon 850, powering multi-tasking and productivity with faster CPU performance. Purpose-built with the instant-on responsiveness and multi-day battery life of a smartphone, its integrated Snapdragon X24 LTE modem enables multi-gigabit connectivity speeds for seamless cloud computing. Its Qualcomm AI Engine dedicates six TOPS to accelerate machine learning applications, while the powerful GPU provides stunning graphics, all in an ultra-thin, fan-less design optimized for mainstream use.

Building upon the world’s first 7nm PC platform, the Snapdragon 8cx, the new Snapdragon 8cx Enterprise Compute Platform delivers next-generation capabilities to the 21st century modern workplace. Corporations can now take advantage of optimized system performance and connected security software to bring an additional level of performance and security to complement the extreme performance, extreme battery life, and extreme connectivity of Snapdragon 8cx to drive an ever more productive workforce and enhanced security for their data. The full Snapdragon Mobile Compute portfolio gives partners greater flexibility to choose how to differentiate their offerings, meeting the diverse needs of the industry.

Qualcomm expects machines powered by the Snapdragon 8c to cost around $500 to $699, while the 7c will power PCs that cost less than $499, targeting a market like education where battery life is a greater priority. It is not clear if the power boost will be enough to counteract the performance hit due to emulating x86 code on ARM. In addition Qualcomm has not announced the availability dates for the new processor yet.

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