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Snapdragon 8cx ushers in a new era of computing, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Book S

We sat down with Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies Miguel Nunes to learn more.

We’re entering a new era of computing — an era where ultra-thin PC form factors deliver premium performance and multi-day battery life (not one or the other) and where secure and lightning-fast cellular connectivity deliver untethered productivity. The driving force behind this change: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform.

Earlier this month, Samsung debuted the first Snapdragon 8cx-powered PC: the Samsung Galaxy Book S. The Snapdragon 8cx platform, built from the ground up for PCs, provides this high-performance device with an LTE connection, so consumers have the freedom to use the device virtually anywhere. And because of its epic power efficiency, the Snapdragon 8cx delivers up to multiple days of battery life on a single charge (up to 23 hours continuous), so there’s no need to lug around a charger.

We spoke with Miguel Nunes, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Book S and how its integrated Snapdragon 8cx platform will shake up the PC ecosystem.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How will the Samsung Galaxy Book S change how people use their laptops?

The Galaxy Book S is a very thin, super lightweight, and premium mobile PC that has incredible battery life and gives consumers the same always on, always connected experience they enjoy with their smartphones. This is a result of the Snapdragon 8cx built into the PC.

When we talk about the idea of changing somebody’s life, we’re challenging consumer expectations. We want them to wonder, “Why am I tethered to Wi-Fi? Why do I have to constantly search for a power outlet or carry my charger, when I don’t have to do that for my phone and smartwatch?” The Snapdragon 8cx enables the mobile lifestyle these folks expect from the other devices they use, without sacrificing performance or productivity.

How does Samsung’s Galaxy Book S take advantage of all that the Snapdragon 8cx has to offer?

If you look at how people are interacting with their devices, you’ll see that being always on and always connected is extremely important to them. By providing LTE connectivity in a PC, the Snapdragon 8cx allows consumers to have a truly mobile experience with their Galaxy Book S and work virtually anywhere, anytime with enhanced security. 

The platform also has an integrated Qualcomm Adreno GPU and Qualcomm Kryo CPU. These cores deliver a 2X boost in graphics performance and a 40 percent boost in CPU performance, respectively, compared to the platform’s predecessor. These improvements allow the Galaxy Book S to compute operations and render graphics quickly, so use cases like gaming and video streaming are seamless. Previous processor generations had the same cores as our mobile SoC, whereas performance levels for the CPU and GPU are much higher in the Snapdragon 8cx, which is purpose built for PCs.

Can this device handle high performance scenarios like multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is one of many great examples of a real-world high-performance measure. Throughout the day, we find ourselves interacting with multiple apps and multiple screens simultaneously to get things done and be productive. Whether you’re browsing multiple websites and opening multiple tabs, rendering an image in Photoshop, watching 4K video, or using Microsoft Office 365 applications, the Snapdragon 8cx allows this device to do it all without skipping a beat. Our ability to deliver high performance, in a thin and light form factor, at a fraction of the power consumption means the Snapdragon 8cx can handle these workloads and maintain battery life that can last multiple days on single charge.

What are a few AI use cases that could be enabled by the Snapdragon 8cx?

Snapdragon 8cx has the ability to deliver AI-powered audio capabilities, like remove background noise during video chat. For camera, AI can make it possible to blur the background of images in real time for more dynamic photos. And, if consumers are using an electronic pen, the PC could use AI to learn their drawing habits and adjust to their usage patterns. These are just a few examples of what is possible and the intelligence we can bring to the PC, thanks to Snapdragon 8cx and the integrated 4th generation Qualcomm AI Engine

How are Snapdragon 8cx-powered devices like the Galaxy Book S more secure than your typical PC?

Most of today’s PCs are vulnerable to attacks and distributed malware that comes from public Wi-Fi networks. By relying on LTE connectivity, Snapdragon 8cx-powered devices like the Galaxy Book S can avoid this risk by using a much more secure connection. 

The Snapdragon 8cx platform offers enterprise-grade security with Windows 10. This portfolio of security features safeguards passwords and sensitive personal information. It also includes full hypervisor support and Windows Hello, which uses biometrics to log the consumer into their device. Since Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t available with previous Snapdragon compute chipsets, this is a major security upgrade.

One of the unique features of the Snapdragon 8cx is its size. Could you talk a bit more about that?

Sure. We are excited to bring the world’s first 7nm platform to the PC. This is a 2-generation leap in technology compared to what powers current PCs in the market. With this advanced technology, we’re able to deliver better performance while reducing power consumption. It’s efficient and allows up to multi-day battery life, so consumers don’t have to charge their Galaxy Book S often.

What kind of impact do you think the Snapdragon 8cx will have on the laptop industry?

Once consumers experience the benefits of the Snapdragon 8cx, I see more PCs becoming always on and always connected, whether it be an LTE or 5G connection. They’ll be powerful yet power-efficient, and also thinner because of the platform’s efficiency and size. The Samsung Galaxy Book S, the first PC powered by the Snapdragon 8cx, is an incredibly thin and powerful device with amazing battery life and lightning- fast connectivity — we can’t wait for people to experience these amazing devices. We’re just getting started. 

Always Connected PCs require network connection. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm AI Engine and Qualcomm Adreno are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc and/or its subsidiaries.

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