Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 850, Explicitly Aimed at New PCs

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

The Snapdragon 850 is Qualcomm's first chip built for Windows PCs

Qualcomm has announced what is technically a new chipset today in the upcoming Snapdragon 850 - and it's probably not what you think. The existing partners like Asus, Lenovo and HP are expected to upgrade their devices to the Snapdragon 850, but nothing detailed was announced.

After achieving market leadership in the smartphone world, Qualcomm now wants to make laptops and 2-in-1 devices sexy again.

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The Snapdragon 850 is manufactured in the second generation 10nm node and it brings significant speed increase and better battery life. The new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem - Cat.18 LTE - also supports almost all global operators for Gigabit LTE, by reducing the Listed Assisted Access (LAA) licensed requirement to only 10MHz. Thermal tuning should be more fitting to a laptop form factor than a smartphone and will still allow for sleek, fanless designs.

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 850 processor, which will power the next generation of always-connected Windows 10 devices.

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With the 850, which has been specifically built for Windows 10 devices and will not come to smartphones, Qualcomm is promising faster performance, higher data speeds and even longer battery life.

The executive says that vendors who wished to offer Gigabit speeds often used to need to have access to 60 MHz of spectrum, and while the X16 LTE modem reduced this requirement to 20 MHz alongside unlicensed spectrum, otherwise known as Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), the latest modem design only requires access to 10 MHz of licensed spectrum in addition to LAA. 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.

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"Qualcomm is a committed to the Always Connected PC revolution", Nunes said. The Snapdragon 850 platform supports hardware acceleration for the Microsoft Machine Learning SDK, in order to allow developers to use the system to create AI-based applications in fields including voice technologies, drawing, security, gaming, and video creation. All presumably running on Windows 10. Along with the new branding that attempts to separate the solutions provided for mobile phones from PCs, the chip gets some interesting and necessary upgrades from the now shipping Snapdragon 835. As for computing power, Qualcomm is already a semiconductor process much more advanced than PC processors and moves ever closer to equaling a Core i5's performance every year.

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