OnQ Blog

Snapdragon 8cx: The most extreme Snapdragon. Ever. [video]

Dec 6, 2018

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

At Qualcomm Technologies, we’re inventing the breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates. Now, we’re extending that expertise to the PC space. Our goal, solve the pain points that have plagued PC users for years; short battery life, slow start-up cycles, the lack of a super-fast secure connection. The simple truth is that we want our PCs to be more like our smartphones.

We are now defining the Always On, Always Connected* PC category and delivering what people love best about their smartphones — instantly on, continuous connectivity and lightning fast LTE speeds, multi-day battery life, location awareness, modern devices that are thin, quiet, and cool — and combining it with the productivity of Windows 10 PCs.

In just six months, five commercially available devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms have launched. And we’re not slowing down. Today, the final day of our Snapdragon Tech Summit event in Hawaii, we announced our third compute chipset and the world’s first 7nm platform purpose-built for PC: the Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform.

As Qualcomm Technologies Senior Director of Product Management Miguel Nunes pointed out, the Snapdragon 8cx is the most extreme Snapdragon platform we’ve ever created. It’s built from the ground up for PCs to offer extreme performance, extreme battery life, and extreme connectivity. We’re continuing to redefine what the PC can do, so you can enjoy the premium mobile experiences you’ve come to expect from your devices.

Extreme performance and multi-day battery life

The Snapdragon 8cx ushers in a new tier of premium Always On, Always Connected computing. 

While the PC industry has long focused on peak performance, that’s often been to the detriment of battery life. And peak performance doesn’t necessarily translate to peak user experiences. The Snapdragon 8cx strikes a balance, supporting premium performance with multi-day battery life**.

We packed a ton of new things into the Snapdragon 8cx. In fact, the Snapdragon 8cx is the most powerful SoC we’ve ever produced — built from the ground up and optimized for compute. 

Premium performance comes courtesy of the most extreme GPU Qualcomm Technologies has ever made: the Qualcomm Adreno 680. Not only is it 2X faster than its previous generation, Adreno 680 is 60 percent more efficient than the GPU in the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. The GPU’s graphics are impressive: 2X more transistors, 2X more memory bandwidth, and the latest DX12 APIs. When working in concert, these GPU components provide premium mobile PC performance without unnecessarily compromising battery life (more on that later).

The groundbreaking architecture improvements don’t stop there. The Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU in the 8cx is our fastest Kryo CPU ever. The Kryo 495 features an octa-core CPU design with larger L2 Cache, L3 Cache, and system Cache. With more cache available, you can multi-task to your heart’s content. 

How does Kryo 495 stack up to the competition? The Snapdragon 8cx with Kryo 495 supports equivalent peak performance to a competitor’s high performance 15W solution but in a fanless, thin and light design. Now, if you compare the performance in a fanless, thin-and-light design (7W TDP), Snapdragon 8cx supports double the sustained performance vs. the competitor’s solution but at a fraction of the power. Again, it’s another instance of how we’ve dramatically increased performance for users without hindering their laptop’s potential battery life. 

Extreme performance extends to your productivity and entertainment experiences as well. With support for the ultra-fast, 2nd gen USB 3.1 and 3rd gen PCI-E you get limitless peripherals and fast storage. We’re also focused on delivering the best video and audio, and you can’t have great visuals without great sound. The Snapdragon 8cx supports dual 4K HDR displays and cutting-edge Hi-Fi Audio. With a built-in Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and Qualcomm aptX HD codec, Snapdragon 8cx-powered Always On, Always Connected PCs are engineered to deliver the best possible wireless sound quality through external speakers and headphone jacks.

Because the Snapdragon 8cx sips rather than guzzles up power, at high performance or when the device is in standby, you can get multi-day battery life on a single charge**. Should you run out of juice, support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology means you can power back up quickly and get back to being productive.

Extreme connectivity, multi-Gigabit LTE

It bears repeating: Always On, Always Connected PCs empower a new class of user experiences with their smartphone-like LTE connectivity. When developing the Snapdragon 8cx, we kept this in mind — and kicked it up a notch. In addition to supporting industry-leading Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solutions, the premium platform includes an integrated Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, the world’s first announced modem to support Category 20 LTE with speeds of up to 2.0 Gbps.

The Snapdragon 8cx also supports 4X4 MIMO and 7X carrier aggregation that enable 70 percent greater throughput at the edge or in weak or crowded conditions compared to competitor solutions. From a UX perspective, such data speeds mean that you can access your files from the cloud as quickly as accessing them from local storage, virtually wherever you are. The integrated Snapdragon X24 modem also allows 90+% of global operators to obtain Gigabit speeds.

The Always On, Always Connected PC app Ecosystem and Enterprise

Toward the end of his keynote, Nunes focused on the Always On, Always Connected ecosystem, specifically app and enterprise support. The Snapdragon platform now supports top titles from some of the most popular entertainment and productivity apps, including Office 365 and popular titles from Gameloft. In addition, the platform now has native browser support, including for the first time, Mozilla Firefox, which is ARM64 native, designed as a multi-threaded solution that will take advantage of our octa-core Kryo CPU for a high-performance browsing experience. Finally, for the first time, the platform now supports Enterprise-level features with Windows 10 Enterprise and many other enterprise providers such as Symantec, VmWare, Cisco, and more. During his presentation, Nunes invited Erin Chapple, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, to the stage to speak about the platform’s support of enterprise-level features.

That’s a wrap

Always On, Always Connected PCs are a part of the “new decade of wireless,” one that encompasses the path to 5G, cloud computing, smartphones, the Internet of Things, and more. In just 18 months, we’ve established a whole new class of mobile compute platforms to power this next generation of PCs. And today, we launched the Snapdragon 8cx, supporting extreme performance, extreme battery life, and extreme connectivity — all in the world’s first 7nm PC platform. Qualcomm Technologies will continue to accelerate the pace of innovation in the PC segment and the path to 5G Always On, Always Connected PCs. 

As we wrap up the 2018 Snapdragon Tech Summit, it’s humbling to see how far we’ve come with the introduction of 5G, the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, and the Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform. We can’t wait to see how our inventions enable our customers to innovate across industries.



*Requires network connectivity. **Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors.
Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm Aqstic, Qualcomm Kryo, and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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