Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 850 for Windows PCs

Qualcomm's reference design for a Snapdragon 850 Windows system.                  Qualcomm

Qualcomm's reference design for a Snapdragon 850 Windows system. Qualcomm

As the Snapdragon 850 is meant to be used in devices bigger than a smartphone, it can run at higher clock speeds without overheating. Some of them had an exquisite build quality, but it's fair to say that a lot of people wanted at least one ultra-thin clamshell (and more!) instead of the tablet-like 2-in-1 form-factor.

Of course, the Snapdragon 850 is expected to be substantially better than the Snapdragon 835 that is now in use with Always Connected PCs.

Coming to the technical aspects, the Snapdragon 850 chipset houses 8x Qualcomm Kryo 385 processors (based on Cortex A75) reaching up to 2.96 GHz, along with a Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, Adreno 630 Visual Processing Unit, Spectra 280 image processor, Qualcomm Mobile security solutions and a Hexagon 685 vector processing units, among other components.

A particular focus has been also placed on laptop form factors, with improved thermal and CPU management.

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 850 processor, which will power the next generation of always-connected Windows 10 devices. In fact, Qualcomm is promising more than twenty hours of battery life - there's even the suggestion of as long as 25 hours in total - even with always-on Gigabit LTE for freedom from hunting down WiFi networks. 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.

This may encourage more vendors to explore the "Always Connected" mobile device business.

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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 also uses the upgraded audio and video codec features and include support for H.264 and HEVC 4K encode and decode for video playback services.

Microsoft has also come into play beyond the tech giant's operating system.

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

It was also confirmed during the press event today that Samsung is going to be the first OEM that gets to use the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform.

Qualcomm noted that Windows 10 devices powered by the 850 are expected to be available in retail before 2019. The platform is only now available for Windows 10-based PCs.

The chip is built on current second-generation 10nm fabrication with the Snapdragon 845's Kryo 385 design. The platform is dedicated to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications - and everything in between - in what Qualcomm calls Extended Reality (XR).

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