During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm expanded its portfolio of solutions for Always On, Always Connected PCs with the introduction of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 platform. The new chipset delivers more performance, and it provides a more enhanced experience to premium ultra-slim and fanless laptops.
The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is more powerful and efficient, offering fast 5G connectivity and multi-day battery life. The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 offers better 5G connectivity and AI capabilities, made especially for entry-level Windows PCs and Chromebooks.
Qualcomm also announced the brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile chipset that will be used in the next generation of premium flagship smartphones.
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
Efficiency and Performance Improvements
The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the world’s first 5nm Windows PC platform that delivers better performance than other previous generation chipsets, and it’s also far more efficient. Qualcomm made some new optimizations to its 5nm chipset that improves the performance of the Qualcomm Kyro CPU, while maintaining similar power consumption to previous generation chipsets.
The new prime cores in the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 can deliver up to 85% generational performance uplift, and up to 60% greater performance per watt over competing x86 platforms. What this means in real use is that devices powered by the new platform will be able to run apps faster, and the battery life will also be increased. The Adreno GPU has also received a lot of performance improvement of up to 60% versus previous generations. It now also supports gaming at FullHD at 120 FPS, and gamers will be able to play 50% longer compared to competing platforms.
Videoconferencing and Streaming
The new chipset utilizes the Qualcomm Spectra ISP with improved camera start-up time, which means that users begin video conferences up to 15% faster than on the last generation. The chip also comes with 3A - Autofocus, Auto White Balance, and Auto Expose that will help Microsoft Team and Zoom calls to adapt to the user’s movement and lighting changes and provide higher quality video. Video isn’t everything, and Qualcomm Noise and Echo Cancellation – part of the Qualcomm Voice Suite – will ensure that audio stays clear and balanced. These features will also be enhanced using AI acceleration to improve the clarity and the quality of the audio. The chip also supports up to 4K HDR, and up to four cameras at the same time.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
The new platform delivers 29+ TOPS of AI acceleration, almost 3X the leading competitive platform. The new AI-enhanced chip will help optimize applications and systems to offer a more power-efficient way to process any AI procedures. Users will also benefit from more advanced security.
Speaking of security, the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is architected to deliver security from chip to cloud, which is a new standard to protect users’ devices and data from malicious activities. The platform will enable Microsoft Secure-core PCs for high-level protection out of the box. Enterprise or Education users will benefit from the new chip as it will allow a more secure way to store sensitive data such as credentials, personal data, and even encryption keys.
The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also introduces a camera security framework that supports Windows Hello login and a dedicated Computer Vision processor for continuous authentication that helps ensure the user’s device is automatically locked when they leave their machine. The platform will also introduce runtime memory encryption, and Zero Trust frameworks will be allowed to use more sensors to enable real-time authentication for corporate uses.
The new platform supports Snapdragon X55, X62, and X65 5G Modem-RF systems to reach up to 10 Gbps speeds. It can reach Wi-Fi 6/6E speeds and be utilized with the Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Ban Simultatnious technology. The platform will also support 5G and 4G LTE, and it’ll let users switch between Wi-Fi 6/6E to browse without any limitations. The new SoC will also provide leading efficiency of Snapdragon computer, providing Always Connected capabilities to allow users to remain Always On.
Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3
The new Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 will allow a new class of entry-level devices to come to light and offer great performance and advanced, previously unseen capabilities. Qualcomm made this chipset especially for Windows PC and Chromebook systems, and it’s built on the 6nm technology that can deliver up to 60% faster CPU performance and up to 70% faster GPU performance.
The Qualcomm AI Engine also enabled AI-accelerated experiences through 6.5 TOPS of performance, which hasn’t yet been observed on entry-level devices. The new platform also introduces 5G for the first time for devices in this segment, and it will come with the Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system that supports 5G sub-6 and mmWave, enabling download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps. FastConnect 6700 also brings gigabit Wi-Fi 6 and 6E with speeds up to 2.9 Gbps.
Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 Availability
Devices powered by the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 chipsets are expected to be released sometime in H1 2022. Qualcomm hasn’t announced which companies will be the first to produce new computers using the chips, but we’ll likely see new devices sometime next year equipped with the new chipsets.