Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Is Designed Specifically For Always Connected Windows PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Is Designed Specifically For Always Connected Windows PCs

At the ongoing Computex 2018 expo in Taipei, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Computer Platform created to provide always-connected Windows 10 PCs to mobile consumers.

Qualcomm is a big preacher of unlimited plans and the company strongly believe that this will help expanding always connected device and enable new use case scenarios for people on the go.

Qualcomm is aggressively predicting longer battery life, moving from "all day" to "multi-day". Samsung has already announced that it will be making a 2-in-1 PC powered by the Snapdragon 850.

However, the USA chip maker says that improvements can still be made.

Perhaps concerningly, Katouzian mentioned at the Snapdragon 850 reveal that research indicated that consumers are "willing to pay more" for devices with better battery life and Gigabit LTE connectivity.

Research conducted by QTI suggests that in comparison to 38 percent of consumers in the United States and China being willing to pay for Gigabit LTE connectivity in 2017, now, 60 percent are willing to do so. It's also touted to provide a 20 percent boost in battery life, up to 20 hours.

Qualcomm on Tuesday at Computex 2018 unveiled the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform.

This is largely an incremental release (the Snapdragon 850 is largely an improved Snapdragon 845), though Qualcomm's comparisons above are against the Snapdragon 835, since that was the first phone chip to support Always Connected PCs.

In addition, there is increased support for artificial intelligence (AI) and multimedia applications.

A point of interest to note is the lowered licensing requirements prompted by the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. Most conspicuously, there's support for combining as little as 10 MHz of licensed spectrum with LAA, which the chip-maker says will make Gigabit LTE a possibility for 90-percent of operators to deploy.

Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 850 will have enhanced entertainment features, too, including virtual surround sound, native DSD support, aptX HD, and 4K capture.

Though the AI market for Windows is still nascent, Qualcomm does support the Microsoft Machine Learning SDK and Windows ML with the AI Engine integration. But a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm has seen the two firms work on tickling Windows into working on ARM-based chip architecture rather than the normal x86 architecture found in Intel and AMD processors.

"Qualcomm is a committed to the Always Connected PC revolution", Nunes said.

Qualcomm expects partners will be shipping new devices with the Snapdragon 850 sometime this holiday season; around November or December.

In terms of improvements over the Snapdragon 835 mobile PC platform, the table below enlists some added advantages. Qualcomm projects a 30 percent increase in CPU and GPU performance, which seems entirely reasonable in both cases given what we know about the platform and underlying CPU architectures. XR1 has been designed for vendors that wish to offer AR and VR to mainstream users.

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