Qualcomm Intros Snapdragon 8cx, World's First 7nm PC Platform

Qualcomm has just announced a new processor for PCs, the Snapdragon 8cx. The company refers to this chip as the “Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform”, and this is the world’s first 7nm PC platform, says Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 8cx packs in the Adreno 680 GPU on the inside, and this platform basically doubles the memory interface from 64 bit to 128 bit wide, compared to previous offerings. The Snapdragon 8cx comes with the new octa-core Kryo 495 CPU, which is the fastest Kryo CPU that Qualcomm ever designed, and it comes with a larger cache than previous compute platforms. Qualcomm also says that the Snapdragon 8cx is considerably more power efficient than the predecessor, while it brings the first Windows 10 Enterprise certification to a Snapdragon platform. The Snapdragon 8cx supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ out of the box, while it is also equipped with Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio technology, which is essentially a suite of technologies that include advanced audio codecs, smart power amplifiers, and a suite of advanced audio and voice software technologies. Thanks to Qualcomm Aqstic, PC’s who are built around the Snapdragon 8cx platform can deliver high definition Bluetooth wireless audio, while access to voice assistants like Cortana and Alexa is also possible.

On top of everything, Qualcomm’s aptX HD tech is also included here, which means that users can get access to High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio. The Snapdragon 8cx also comes with support with second-generation USB 3.1 over Type-C and third-generation PCI-E for limitless peripherals, says Qualcomm. If you’d like to connect two 4K HDR monitors to a device powered by the Snapdragon 8cx, that’s also possible now, while the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem (4G LTE Category 20, peak download speed at 2 Gbps) is also built in here. The Snapdragon 8cx comes with support for Bluetooth 5.0, and it is a 64-bit processor, needless to say. This platform comes with a dedicated ISP, and it supports 4K HDR video capture at 30fps. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 8cx is currently “sampling to customers”, and it is expected to begin shipping in commercial devices in Q3 next year.

Background: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx follow the Snapdragon 855’s lead, as the Snapdragon 855 got fully announced by Qualcomm yesterday. The company is basically announcing various new tech in Hawaii, as part of its summit which lasts a couple of days, and the Snapdragon 8cx may as well be the very last announcement the company made. Qualcomm put a huge focus on 5G during the Snapdragon 855 announcement, as the Snapdragon 855 is a 5G-ready processor, and OnePlus already announced that its 5G-ready smartphone is coming soon, and that it is coming with the Snapdragon 855 on the inside.

Impact: The Snapdragon 8cx is a considerable improvement of the last-gen technology, as expected. This fanless platform can be easily used in laptops, as it is quite power efficient, and it will be interesting to see how many companies will adopt it in 2019, as Qualcomm’s offering is considerably different than your "regular" laptop processors, and is meant to be used in completely different scenarios.

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