Qualcomm has made a concerted move for the “always on” entry-level tablet/laptop market with the release today of two new system-on-chips (SoCs) for Arm-based Windows 10 machines: the Snapdragon 7c and 8c.
The move follows last December’s launch of ts 64-bit Arm-compatible Snapdragon 8cx. The two new SoCs are capable of powering Qualcomm’s AI Engine at five trillion operations per second (TOPS) of performance, it claims.
The launches come as hardware makers increasingly look to Intel alternatives across not just the consumer, but data centre segments: AWS is building its own Arm-based chips for the data centre, while Dell and HP have publicly bewailed lingering Intel CPU shipment issues as the chip giant struggles to meet demand.
Despite this Windows on Arm (and indeed systems running on the 8cx) are hardly ubiquitous; Qualcomm is clearly betting that OEM appetites will shift. (Windows on Arm runs applications compiled for ARM32 or ARM64.)
(The new 13″ Surface Pro X runs on a customised 8cx, and Microsoft claims “almost double” the battery life of comparable Intel-based hardware.)
Qualcomm cites 30 percent greater performance than its Snapdragon 850 for the 8c, with the USP being pushed as solid performance with excellent energy efficiency.
The Snapdragon 7c compute platform upgrades entry level devices bringing a “25 percent boost in system performance and up to twice the battery life versus competing platforms” Qualcomm said, and features rapid Snapdragon X15 LTE modem-based connectivity in systems that can be built with a thin, fan-less design.
“Qualcomm Technologies’ innovation in smartphones and connectivity placed the power of your desktop PC in your phone, now the phone is returning the favor by bringing thin, light, always on, always connected, all-day battery life experiences to your PC,” said Alex Katouzian, general manager, mobile, Qualcomm.
He added: “The mobile-first consumer wants an experience on par with a smartphone, and we have the innovation, the inventions and the technology to enable this experience for customers across price points.”