Dec 17, 2020
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
This year’s sudden global shift toward working and learning remotely highlighted the need for devices that maintain our connection with each other and boost our productivity. Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Always Connected PCs are playing a leading role in digital transformation from consumer, to education and enterprise, especially over the past nine months. We at Qualcomm Technologies are more energized than ever to provide world-class mobile computing experiences, bringing the best of our smartphone expertise to your PC — at a time when we need it most.
We are fortunate to join forces with many innovative partners to provide technology solutions for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling effective remote working and learning experiences. As we look ahead to 2021, our priority continues to be helping our customers deliver the best computing experiences, so you can connect, create, and collaborate from virtually anywhere. Our vision propels us toward the next chapter of transformation and industry evolution. While 2020 presented many challenges, Qualcomm Technologies and the entire ecosystem shared many successes.
During BETT 2020, Microsoft announced the first two education devices to launch powered by Snapdragon compute platforms, bringing extraordinary battery life, 4G LTE connectivity, and AI features to the education segment through the JP.IK Turn T101 and the Positivo Wise N1212S. These devices enable more interactive and collaborative learning. Together with Microsoft Education, we also showcased how Snapdragon compute platforms and Windows 10 are empowering the lives of students and educators in South Africa.
In February, Samsung announced commercial availability of their ultra-portable always on, always connected Samsung Galaxy Book S, powered by the Snapdragon 8cx compute platform. With up to 25 hours of video playback, 4G LTE connectivity, and a seamless 2-in-1 integration with the Galaxy lineup, this incredibly thin (less than 0.5") and light (1kg) device delivers the mobility and productivity users crave from their PCs.
In late February, Qualcomm Technologies came together with industry players for what would be one of the first virtual industry events of the year: What’s Next in 5G. There we announced the support of 17 leading mobile operators from around the world for 5G PCs powered by Snapdragon compute platforms.
As operators, including Verizon, Sprint, EE, and China Mobile, continue to roll out expansive 5G networks in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, they drive demand for faster, more efficient, and more powerful mobile computing experiences. Snapdragon technology is playing an instrumental role in meeting these expectations, together with operators in 115 countries and global OEMs.
We also demonstrated some of the world’s first 5G PC user experiences like this technology demonstration using Adobe Premiere Pro over 5G on Windows Virtual Desktop to edit uncompressed 6K RED video right in the Qualcomm San Diego lobby. You’ll see that the power and performance of the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, coupled with the utility of a secure and reliable cloud connection, help boost productivity and enable new user experiences.
What’s Next in 5G set the stage to unveil the Lenovo Yoga 5G (known as Flex 5G in North America), which is the world’s first 5G PC¹ and officially launched in June. The first device powered by the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, this convertible laptop loaded with Windows 10 delivers high-speed 5G network connectivity to the masses, in a laptop, for the first time ever.
An ideal productivity PC, the Lenovo Flex 5G supports ultra-high speed mmWave 5G connectivity² and delivers multi-day battery life³, allowing people around the world to be productive almost anywhere.
“Now more than ever, consumers crave faster, easier and more secure computing experiences — whether sharing bandwidth with family at home or resuming mobile work,” said Johnson Jia, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Segment in Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group. “We are pleased to have delivered the world’s first 5G PC⁴, the Lenovo Yoga 5G, using the Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform. We look forward to bringing people more Lenovo 5G and connected computing devices to better everyday work and life in the new normal, and continuing to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to transform the personal computing industry together for years to come.”
This summer, the company launched the Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator program, providing 33 small businesses nationwide with technical and integration support in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including 4G and 5G-enabled PCs powered by Snapdragon compute. Our efforts with the Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator Program, as well as with local education initiatives, helped deliver Always Connected PCs at a time when it was needed most.
Our collaboration with Microsoft this year brought the expansion of the App Assure Program to include Windows 10 PCs powered by Snapdragon compute platforms. Microsoft’s commitment to help customers, developers, and independent software vendors address application compatibility issues, at no additional cost for qualifying customers, will surely translate to superior experiences and consistent application compatibility for Snapdragon compute’s global consumers, enterprise customers and developers. This will further enhance the performance and user experiences across our growing ecosystem of always on, always connected PCs.
“The consistent application compatibility of Windows 10 has been the reason for its worldwide adoption, and we were incredibly proud to extend this compatibility promise to Windows 10 on Snapdragon. Now, customers can be confident that their business-critical applications will work on Snapdragon-powered Windows devices,” said Brad Anderson, CVP, Commercial Management Experiences, Microsoft.
In addition to this App Assure Program expansion, Microsoft introduced to the Windows Insider Program the first preview of x64 emulation for Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, to gather feedback that will inform updates in the coming months. This comes in addition to releases of ARM64-native Microsoft Teams, the OpenGL/OpenCL compatibility layer, the beta version of ARM64-native Photoshop, and — most recently — Adobe Lightroom.
Alongside richer application compatibility experiences, we welcomed new devices into the compute portfolio, giving Windows on Snapdragon even more muscle. During our IFA 2020 press conference, President Cristiano Amon unveiled the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform, announced that the Acer Spin 7 would be the first device to utilize the leading solution. Cristiano also teased another device from HP, a business-focused design to help enterprise users unlock the unparalleled speed and productivity experiences of Snapdragon. The Spin 7 is Acer’s first device to utilize Snapdragon compute technology. The improvements in the 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform complement the ongoing improvements in software and app compatibility.
Soon after, Microsoft announced a new SKU of the popular Surface Pro X, powered by the SQ2 processor, which we again co-developed with Microsoft.
In late October, Acer debuted the Chromebook Spin 513, as well as the Chromebook Enterprise Spin 513, as the world’s first always-connected Chromebook powered by Snapdragon. These are the first two Chromebooks to market utilizing the Snapdragon 7c compute platform, deliver 4G LTE connectivity, and provide 14 hours of battery life. The Enterprise SKU also comes the business capabilities of Chrome OS unlocked, allowing IT managers to deploy, orchestrate, and securely connect with their workforce from anywhere. I am thrilled to work with Acer to bring to commercialize productive laptops with foundational technologies.
“Always Connected PCs and Chromebooks powered by Snapdragon compute platforms are an integral part of our portfolio,” said Acer Inc. Co-COO Jerry Kao. “Whether utilizing Windows or Chrome OS, LTE or 5G connectivity, or built for consumer, enterprise or education, our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is delivering incredible productivity and new user experiences with lightning-fast connectivity, incredible battery life, and AI accelerated experiences in ultra-thin laptops to a spectrum of users around the world. We accomplished so much in 2020 and, together, we will further enrich the lives of our users in 2021.”
Our Snapdragon compute business has made spectacular strides this year, and we continue to power a new era of computing, and transform the way that users interact with their devices. As Qualcomm Technologies’ vision for ARM-based computing is validated across the industry, we keep our eyes on the future. With our entire compute platform portfolio activated — from Snapdragon 7c to Snapdragon8cx Gen 2 5G — we look forward to propelling the personal computing experience forward and are ready for the challenges, collaborations, and success stories that 2021 will bring. With the support of our OEM, carrier, and channel ecosystem, we are committed to delivering unmatched experiences for consumer and enterprise customers alike — continuing to pave the way for the industry.