Qualcomm revealed two new processors for Windows-on-ARM laptops at its Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021 on Thursday. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is being marketed as the world’s first 5nm chip for Windows laptops; it is Qualcomm’s flagship chip for Windows-on-ARM devices. The other, known as the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, is a more popular device geared at delivering 5G and other modern-day technologies to low-cost Windows laptops. Qualcomm announced that Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3-powered smartphones will be available in the first half of 2022.
The Snapdragon 8 Generation 1 was not the only significant official statement during Qualcomm’s recent Tech Summit. With the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip for Windows laptops, the American chipmaker is also taking on Apple’s M1 chip. The 8cx Gen 3 is the world’s first 5nm laptop chip, aimed at high-end computers. Qualcomm has not yet released precise specifications, but we do know that it will provide an 85 percent improvement in multi-core performance over the previous version.
World’s First 5nm ARM Chip for Windows Laptops introduced by Qualcomm
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a high-performance, low-power processor designed for always-on, always-connected laptops. Though Qualcomm hasn’t provided specifics on the CPU, core counts, or sorting, the new technology is touted to be “85 percent” quicker at multi-threaded processes than its predecessor. Graphics will also be increased by 60%, according to Qualcomm. In terms of AI and machine learning activities, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 provides over 29 TOPS, which is a threefold gain over the CPU it replaces.
The GPU has gained a 60% performance bump, while the NPU can now reach 29 TOPS, which is three times higher than the previous chip. All of these enhancements result in lower power consumption, and Qualcomm claims that they may be employed in fan-less designs as well. The prior chip may achieve the same thing, but this one will most likely succeed in terms of long-term efficiency. The 8cx is equipped with the same X65 5G modem seen in handsets, which can give up to 10 Gbps downlink speeds. WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E connections are also supported. Echo cancellation, noise suppression, and compatibility for multiple cameras are among the AI-accelerated features.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is also intended to provide “immersive video and audio experiences for video conferencing,” with features such as AI-accelerated echo-cancellation and noise suppression (ECNS), 3A, which stands for Autofocus, Auto White Balance, and Auto Exposure, as well as support for multiple cameras. According to Qualcomm, the first Windows 11 laptops equipped with a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor should be available in the first half of 2022. We’ll have to wait and see how they compare to Apple’s and Intel’s competing products.
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