Computex 2018: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 to power Windows PCs

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

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

In an official announcement, Qualcomm Technologies's senior vice president and general manager, mobile business unit, Alex Katouzian, enthused the benefits this chip will bring to new devices in the near future.

The first batch of always-connected PCs use the Snapdragon 835, which powered some of best smartphones of 2017, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8, Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T. Today at Computex 2018, Qualcomm has unveiled a new chip targeted specifically at Windows PCs. The Snapdragon 850, in contrast, is meant to be used for PCs first.

"The Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform is created to support many sought-after smartphone features in the PC and to stay connected to LTE or Wi-Fi so users can receive notifications and have their data virtually always synced on the go", said Qualcomm.

Even this tablet will have better cooling than phones, so the Kryo 385 Gold cores are now clocked at 2.95 GHz, a small bump in speed over the phone chip. The SoC will be able to provide virtual surround sound, native DSD format, high dynamic range and ultra-low THD+N, as well as aptX HD support. The X20 LTE modem pushes the downlink speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. Furthermore, the chipset also supports LPDDR4X quad-channel memory, with high-resolution audio playback being enjoyed on wired as well as wireless audio headphones too, thanks to Aqstic and aptX audio.

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

Sprint has said that it plans to offer its customers free unlimited data in 2018 with AutoPay on Qualcomm Snapdragon Always Connected PCs from Asus, HP and Lenovo. It also does not change the picture for app compatibility, as it remains a software-level development task, and something that Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Arm should be spending a lot more time on in the coming months.

Qualcomm expects partners will be shipping new devices with the Snapdragon 850 sometime this holiday season; around November or December.

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