Qualcomm has officially unveiled the Snapdragon 850 for Always Connected Windows-on-ARM PCs. These are PCs that make use of Snapdragon processors, enabling smartphone abilities like LTE-connectivity and extended battery life. The processor is an upgrade over the Snapdragon 845 chip found in high-end flagship smartphones and a replacement for the 835 that is used in Windows-on-ARM PCs. The 850 chip will not feature on smartphone devices.The Snapdragon 850 chipset is designed to offer more cooling power, 30 percent increase in performance, 20 percent boost in battery life, and 3X AI performance compared to the Snapdragon 835 PCs. The X20 LTE modem offers a connectivity speeds of 1.2 gigabits per second, enabling up to 25 hours of continuous usage, which results in “multi-day” battery life.
The chip comes with similar Kryo 385 Gold cores found in Snapdragon 845, an Adreno 630 GPU, 10nm manufacturing process with a clocked speed of at 2.95 GHz. It also comes with Qualcomm’s AI engine for machine learning. The first generation of Always Connected Windows-on-ARM PCs were released earlier this year running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which is also used in Android smartphones.
Qualcomm promises to release the first wave of Windows devices running on this platform later on this year. There is also an alleged plan by Microsoft and Dell to partner on a foldable smartphone/laptop hybrids powered by the Snapdragon 850, which will also be released this year. According to Qualcomm, Samsung is also going to feature the chipset in its yet-to-be-announced Always Connected PC.
The recent update to Always Connected PCs by Microsoft brings an increase in overall performance and a reduction in power usage. It also offers support for aptX HD audio in Qualcomm chips and HDR.
Some OEMs such as Asus, Lenovo, and HP still have Always Connected Windows-on-ARM PCs running on Snapdragon 835 chipset in the market.