Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 is a processor built with laptops in mind

06 June, 2018, 02:50 | Author: Bennie Parsons
  • Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 is a processor built with laptops in mind

Qualcomm is touting "multi-day battery life" in practical terms - that's 25 or more hours of continuous use - as a big improvement over the Snapdragon 835's "beyond all-day" range.

The Snapdragon 850 supports HDR displays and 4K capture through the onboard camera. Last year, though, we witnessed the introduction of a new class of Always Connected Windows mobile PCs built around the then-top-shelf Snapdragon 835 (SD835) chip.

"Always On, Always Connected" refers to the relatively new type of computer that doesn't completely shut down instead staying connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network even when asleep to allow for constant connectivity, similarly to how a smartphone works. There's also a 30-percent increase in graphics performance from the Adreno 630, which is paired with the Hexagon 685 vector processor too.


The idea behind the partnership was to create a new family of Arm-based mobile devices which combined the functionality of laptops with mobile "always on" LTE connectivity, thin form factors, and extended battery life. The chip is essentially a beefed-up version of the Snapdragon 845 found in phones and comes to replace the 835 chip previously used in Windows-on-ARM devices. The Snapdragon 845 uses two quad core configurations: A Cortex-A75 (branded as the Kryo 385 Gold) cluster clocked at up to 2.8GHz and a quad-core Cortex-A55 cluster (branded as the Kryo 385 Silver) clocked at 1.77GHz. The new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem - Cat.18 LTE - also supports almost all global operators for Gigabit LTE, by reducing the Listed Assisted Access (LAA) licensed requirement to only 10MHz. The new chip promises to provide high fidelity HD sound thanks to Qualcomm Aqstic and aptX audio. The chipset also supports Microsoft's Machine Learning SDK.

The Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform is a needed step in Qualcomm's journey towards competitive performance and revolutionary feature integration for Windows PCs.

The SD 850 will definitely improve the outlook for Windows on Snapdragon devices later this year, but it might take just one more generational leap before this hardware can have kind of impact we all suspect it will.

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